D'Angelo Russell OK after getting hit in groin by LeBron James pass

February, 10, 2016
Feb 10
Holmes By Baxter Holmes

CLEVELAND -- Late in the third quarter of Wednesday’s 120-111 Cleveland Cavaliers win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Quicken Loans Arena, Cavaliers star LeBron James threw a two-handed bullet pass toward a teammate in the right corner, and Lakers rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell jumped up to deflect it.

Video clips of what happened next went viral immediately.

James’ pass nailed Russell, the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2015, square in the groin, and the crowd immediately gasped as Russell quickly collapsed, lying face-down on the court, where he remained for a few minutes.

Russell’s teammates and the Lakers’ training staff encircled the former Ohio State standout while three replays of the incident were shown on the arena videoboard, each one drawing a pained groan from the fans.

“The way the crowd sounded, it seemed pretty obvious that it hit him right in the spot,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “I felt for him.”

Russell rose to his feet and was helped off the court while several of his teammates couldn’t help but laugh. He later returned to the game and said he was all right.

"It was tough. Every guy knows the feeling,” said Russell, who finished with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting in 28 minutes. “Laugh about it now and then two months from now, somebody else will have something else to laugh about.”

Said Russell’s teammate, Kobe Bryant, “It was hilarious. It was so funny. Once I knew he was OK, the jokes write themselves. That was a good time.”video


CLEVELAND -- Lakers star Kobe Bryant didn't mince words about the state of his oft-injured 37-year-old body entering the All-Star break.

"[I] feel horrible," he said Wednesday after playing his final game in Cleveland, a 120-111 loss to the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. "My ankles, knees, everything. This stretch couldn't come at a better time. My ankles hurt. My knees hurt. So I'm looking forward to having a complete week where I just do nothing."

Bryant scored 17 points on 5-of-16 shooting in 33 minutes against the Cavaliers.

Later, when Bryant rose from his chair after a postgame news conference, he groaned, "Oh my god." He then gingerly walked toward a nearby door after sitting for nearly 12 straight minutes.

Bryant, whose past three seasons have all been cut short by injury, announced his plans to retire this summer after his 20th NBA season. 

He was selected by fans to start for the Western Conference in the 2016 NBA All-Star Game in Toronto on Sunday. It was Bryant's 18th selection to the All-Star Game, the second-most behind fellow Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 19.

Bryant is expected to have a busy schedule leading up to the game, considering it's his last All-Star Game, but he said he'll work to manage his time carefully to help preserve his body.

"It is busy, but it's also very selective," he said. "There's certain things that we'll do that's short bursts of appearances, but nothing too long, nothing where I'm on my feet for long periods of time. It's also the last one, so I try to enjoy it as much as I can. But it's no running, it's no pounding, it's none of that stuff. It's rest with plenty of ice baths in between."

Lakers coach Byron Scott said he has spoken to Bryant about getting some rest during the break.

"It's going to be almost 24-7 [for him]," Scott said. "I'll probably go to bed at night wondering if he's getting any sleep at all and how he's going to feel for the next day."

Scott said he trusts San Antonio Spurs

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CLEVELAND – After shootaround Wednesday, Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott once again discussed his relationship with rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell, a hot-button issue throughout the season, as Scott has continually criticized the 2015 No. 2 draft pick with backhanded remarks on a near-daily basis.

D'Angelo Russell, Kyrie IrvingAP Photo/Tony DejakD'Angelo Russell, left, isn't as far along as Kyrie Irving, right, was as a rookie, according to Lakers coach Byron Scott, who coached Irving in Cleveland in 2011-12.

“I haven't been the easiest man on him in the world,” Scott said hours before his Lakers fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-111 at Quicken Loans Arena. “But I always seem to go back to thinking -- after I've been so hard on him on certain occasions -- that he's 19 years old, and he's just a kid playing in a man's world. I know the potential is there. He's just got to keep working at it. I'm going to stay on him because I think he has a chance to be a very good basketball player.”

Later Wednesday, Scott further critiqued Russell by saying the former Ohio State standout is not as mature as other top-flight rookie point guards Scott coached, such as Kyrie Irving in Cleveland and Chris Paul in New Orleans.

“[Irving] was just a little bit more mature,” Scott said. “At 19, he was a little bit more businesslike at practice and games. D’Angelo still has a playfulness about him. Sometimes in practice he’s joking around and losing a little bit of focus. But he’s 19. I understand that. Chris Paul was probably like 23 years old by the time he came into the league in his mental capacity. But like I said, each point guard, each guy I have, is different.”

Scott was then asked if he meant Russell’s “playfulness” was a negative trait.

“I didn’t say it was a bad thing, but it is a bad thing at times,” Scott said. “There’s always a time to be serious, and there’s always a time to joke around. So I’m not saying it’s a bad thing -- I’m saying he’s 19. I understand it. I’m not saying it’s bad or good, but Chris Paul wasn’t like that, and Kyrie was a little bit, but not that much. But like I said, again, they’re all different, and I accept that.”

Scott reiterated that Russell isn't as developed as Irving at that age.

“Kyrie was a lot farther along,” Scott said. “Kyrie, offensively, there was no weaknesses, and I haven’t seen that in a 19-year-old since. And he’s probably the first. He was more prepared from an offensive standpoint than Chris Paul was his rookie year, and I think I said that as well. Kyrie was just so much more advanced -- on the defensive end was a different story -- but offensively, he’s just gifted. Very mature, very smart, so it was a lot easier. This is a totally different situation.

"Each point guard that I’ve had is a totally different situation. D’Angelo is in a situation that is totally different from Kyrie and Chris Paul and Jason Kidd and other guys I’ve had. I treat them according to what they bring to the table. Like I said with D’Angelo, I know he’s going to get there.”


LeBron James tells Lisa Salters about his brief conversation with Kobe Bryant after the game and says that Kobe's retirement is "bittersweet."

Love injured as Cavs down Kobe, Lakers 120-111

February, 10, 2016
Feb 10

CLEVELAND -- Kobe Bryant's final game in Cleveland was reduced to a sideshow when Cavaliers forward Kevin Love re-injured his surgically repaired left shoulder in the first half of a 120-111 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.

Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 35 points and LeBron James 29 for the Cavs, who head into the All-Star break with one of their "Big 3" injured.

Love quickly left the floor late in the second quarter after he got hurt while working in the post against Bryant. He did not return in the second half, and the Cavs did not provide any specifics about his injury.

Bryant finished with 17 points in his last performance in Cleveland. Lou Williams scored 28 to lead the Lakers, who have dropped 13 of 15.

(Read full post)


In the final minute, Kobe Bryant checks out of the game to a standing ovation from Cavaliers fans and a hug from LeBron James.

Kobe Bryant drains a three and draws the foul in the fourth quarter bringing the Lakers deficit to 13 against the Cavaliers.

Lisa Salters reports on Kevin Love's condition after he appears to injure his shoulder in the second quarter against the Lakers.

Kyrie Irving puts some sweet moves on the Lakers' defense on his way to the rim for a first-quarter layup.

Julius Randle throws up a dunk attempt and the ball takes three unfriendly bounces.

SportsCenter runs down the Top 10 NBA Players of all time.

Kobe Bryant reflects on never meeting one of LeBron James' teams in the NBA Finals, his first meeting with LeBron and how close the two have been.



Kobe Bryant
16.9 3.4 1.0 29.2
ReboundsJ. Randle 10.0
AssistsK. Bryant 3.4
StealsD. Russell 1.2
BlocksR. Hibbert 1.6