Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell already has Kobe Bryant’s trust

first_imgHONOLULU >> The restlessness overwhelmed D’Angelo Russell, prompting the Lakers rookie point guard to toss and turn before waking up at an ungodly hour before the first day of training camp. Russell could not wait for his workout, so he could break a sweat, build a rhythm and impress an influential and demanding teammate. But Kobe Bryant already beat him to the punch. The Lakers’ star already completed his own before anyone else. “He’s going to push you. So you have to be one of those guys that will compete,” Russell said. “To build a trust with a guy like that, you need to be a winner.” Russell also acknowledged feeling starstruck when he completed a three-man weave drill during his first training camp practice with Bryant. “You try to keep it off your mind that this guy is right beside you,” Russell said of Bryant. “That’s something you have to get past. If you want to be the best, we have to look at him as a mentor and not look at him as a fan.”Russell acknowledged that dynamic could “definitely” make him feel more tentative playing with Bryant, knowing both his star power and thirst to score. “He told me he likes to shoot the ball so if I get it to him, it’s his job to finish it,” Russell said in obvious understatement. “Just knowing where he likes the ball and where he likes to score from, being the point guard, you’ll get a bigger challenge off the bat.” But the Lakers argue Russell will handle that challenge just fine. One, Scott, Bryant and Julius Randle have praised Russell’s on-court poise. So much that Scott likened it to Clippers guard Chris Paul, the eight-time NBA All-Star whom Scott coached in New Orleans from 2004 to 2009. Russell maintained the same stoic demeanor during portions of Wednesday’s full-court scrimmage when he made pinpoint passes as he did when Lakers forward Nick Young talked trash after scoring on him. “Nick always talks,” Scott said. “D’Angelo is a very low-key guy. You don’t see him get too hyped up about things. He’s pretty much on an even keel.”Two, Scott has instructed Russell, Bryant, Randle and Jordan Clarkson to maximize fast-break opportunities by assuming ball-handling duties after rebounding the ball. In a few minutes of Wednesday’s half-four scrimmage that was open to reporters, Bryant played at small forward and neither touched nor shot the ball once. “I don’t think it matters man. You play the flow of the game and see what comes,” Bryant said. “I don’t have to handle the ball at all. That leaves more time to catch and shoot. With D’Angelo and Jordan, these guys can handle the ball, make incredible decisions and make plays. It makes it a lot easier.”Third, Bryant circled back on Russell’s quest for self-improvement. Russell asked for the Lakers to place his locker next to Bryant so he could easily ask him questions. Russell has already asked Bryant for tips to maximize his NBA longevity. And Russell has emulated Bryant’s approach on arriving to the gym early.Does that make Bryant feel more inclined to want to help Russell?“Absolutely,” Bryant said. “When guys have that same passion and desire for it, it makes you more willing to open up. When they’re here early and shooting late, you can tell when that passion is there and you can tell when they think it’s a job.”That explains why Bryant has saddled up to Russell after each practice. They talk. They laugh. They embrace. The makings of a potentially fruitful partnership has just started. The Lakers completed two days of training camp at Stan Sheriff Center, too small of a sample size to offer any conclusions on whether Russell will fit that description for the 2015-16 NBA season. Yet, the Lakers feel convinced their No. 2 pick is a winner after falling in love with his confidence and playmaking. Bryant also already likes what he sees. “He has my trust already because he’s a gym rat,” Bryant said. “He loves playing the game. I trust that whatever challenges are presented to him, he’ll figure them out.”There could be plenty. After averaging only 11.8 points on 37.7 percent, 3.5 turnovers and 3.5 assists in summer league play, Russell has to prove he can translate his outside shooting and playmaking to the NBA. He has admitted a learning curve in Byron Scott’s Princeton-based offense. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


Aviation body tells delayed government how to fly

first_imgThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) boss has provided the next Australian government with plans to strengthen Australian aviation.“Whichever party forms the next government, key aviation elements need to be faced: infrastructure, training, environment and liberalisation,” IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani said in an address to the National Aviation Press Club.“No country knows better the importance of global linkages than Australia.“This agenda…will build a more competitive platform for aviation to deliver even greater benefits to the Australian economy and secure an even more important regional and global leadership role in driving the industry forward,” said Bisignani.According to Mr Bisignani, aviation contributes 500,000 jobs and AUD6.3 billion to the Australian economy and it is therefore “critical” that the next Australian government has a solid and coordinated aviation policy to position Australia to “reap the benefits” aviation brings to the country. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A As part of Mr Bisignani’s plan to grow Australia’s aviation, the next government would need to regulate Sydney Airport costs, make a “critical” decision on a second airport for Sydney, and take a leading role in aviation training and environmental issues.Mr Bisignani congratulated Australia on its liberal aviation policy that sees Australia’s and New Zealand’s open aviation area an achievement the US and Europe has not been able to meet.However, the IATA boss did question Australia’s “outdated” 49 per cent foreign ownership cap, saying the industry needed to run like a “normal business” to be sustainable.Directly following the presentation of his recommendations, Mr Bisignani met with Minister for Transport Anthony Albanese, a spokesperson from Mr Albanese’s office telling e-Travel Blackboard the two discussed the issue of Sydney’s second airport and the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organisation agenda.last_img read more