Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell Acknowledges Nikola Jokic as Best Player in the League
During a recent appearance on a podcast, Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard D’Angelo Russell made an intriguing comment that might have raised eyebrows among his Hall of Fame teammates. When asked about his opinion on the league’s best player, the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft didn’t name his notable Lakers teammates LeBron James or Anthony Davis. Instead, Russell gave the nod to Denver Nuggets’ center, Nikola Jokic, the reigning Finals MVP.
It’s somewhat surprising not to hear Russell mention the Lakers’ superstar duo, but his acknowledgment of Jokic’s prowess comes after the Nuggets’ impressive victory against the purple and gold in last year’s playoffs. In a stunning four-game Western Conference Finals sweep, Jokic showcased his dominance, propelling the Nuggets to their first-ever NBA Finals appearance and victory in franchise history.
Throughout the entire postseason, Jokic put up astounding numbers, averaging over 30 points, nearly 14 rebounds, and nearly 10 assists per game, earning him the Finals MVP award. The Serbian big man proved just how dominant he can be, leaving a lasting impression on the Lakers and the rest of the league.
Despite a mixed postseason for the Lakers, D’Angelo Russell signed a new two-year contract to return to the purple and gold. While he may not have been as impactful during the playoffs, his contributions during the regular season, especially after his trade from Minnesota, cannot be overlooked.
Russell and other key players from the Lakers’ previous playoff core will return to LA, seeking revenge against Jokic and the Nuggets. Nevertheless, there is clear and utmost respect for the Serbian superstar and his exceptional talents on the court. As the NBA season unfolds, fans will eagerly observe how Jokic and the Lakers’ stars continue to shape the league’s landscape and vie for the title of the best player in the game.