D'Angelo Russell will finally get a chance to be the man in L.A. and, based on his preseason performance, he's ready.

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D'Angelo Russell will finally get a chance to be the man in L.A. and, based on his preseason performance, he's ready.

Kobe-less Lakers

Kobe Bryant is amazing. Trust me, I fully understand that, but we haven’t been able to see just how talented this young Laker team is with #24 still hanging around. Whether it was the shots and offensive opportunities that he took from young players or the $25 million contract that ate up a large portion of the Lakers’ cap, Kobe was a detriment to Los Angeles in his waning years. With Bryant out the door, that should create opportunities for several other players, most notably second year point guard D’Angelo Russell. In the small sample size of preseason basketball, Russell has looked very much improved.

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