D’Angelo Russell requesting a locker next to Kobe is a smart move

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EL SEGUNDO, CA - JULY 5: D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers poses for a portrait at Toyota Sports Center on July 5, 2015 in El Segundo, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

One of the best things you can do as a rookie coming into the league is to keep an open mind and soak up as much knowledge as possible. The Los Angeles Lakers’ new point guard, D’Angelo Russell decided he wanted to pick the brain of one of the smartest guys in the NBA today in Kobe Bryant. He did so by requesting to have his locker next to the Black Mamba, which he talked about in an interview with Mark Medina.

I don’t know how much longer he’s going to be around,” said Russell, who will first practice with Bryant on Tuesday in Honolulu. “So to have the opportunity to pick his brain a little bit every day, I don’t have to make it weird by walking to his locker. I’ll just look to my right and there he is.

Kobe Bryant
Gary A Vasquez/USA Today Sports

This is one of the best things that Russell could have done. One, because he’s choosing to learn from a veteran that has reached the pinnacle multiple times. Bryant has 5 rings and entering his 20th season, its unknown how much he has left in the tank, but what we do know is that he still has a lot of basketball IQ. Kobe can share some knowledge on how to win and how to compete at a high level. He also can teach the young guard the ins and outs of being a professional basketball player and how to do so at  such a young age. Kobe was drafted at 17 and he had to deal with growing up in front of the fans of the NBA. Russell is two years older, but he will still have to mature and grow, despite all of the adversity that he will endure.

This is also a huge move for D’Angelo because as we know, Kobe is a tough person to impress — a true competitor at it’s finest that’s not afraid to confront a teammate who he feels isn’t putting in the same effort. By Russell expressing his desire to learn from the future Hall-of-Famer, it shows that he wants to be great. That will go a long way with Kobe, who himself always talked about learning from veteran guys as he was growing up, especially Michael Jordan.

Kobe Bryant discusses how he learned from Michael Jordan in his one on one with Ahmad Rashad. 

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This upcoming season is huge for both Kobe Bryant and D’Angelo Russell. Bryant is trying to remain healthy and prove that he still can produce, while Russell is simply is looking to make a name for himself. The outcome for this Lakers team is unpredictable, but this is one dynamic that many people will continue to keep their eye on.

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