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February 12, 2016

D'Angelo Russell

Toronto, Ontario

Q. Your first thought when you realized you were going to the Lakers and you know that you're going to play alongside Kobe and for a franchise like that, what went through your mind?
D'ANGELO RUSSELL: Expectations would be very high. Winning is always the only option, so you've got to come in with that winning mentality.

Q. I'm sorry to ask you, because I know a lot of people ask you, but how is it playing with Kobe and in his last season?
D'ANGELO RUSSELL: Honestly, it's hard. It's not easy. He's a guy that's earned every shot he's taken, earned every minute he's given, so you feel like being a rookie, but you feel like you've worked to be in his position so early but you've just got to be patient.

Q. Do you catch yourself watching him as he goes off? Do you catch yourself like whoa, is he really doing this now?
D'ANGELO RUSSELL: Yeah, Mamba moments. When he shows up, when he does, he's a showman and you really enjoy it.

Q. Last one, the competitiveness of Kobe. We always heard that he pushes his teammates and pushes himself a little bit extra. How is he in the gym?
D'ANGELO RUSSELL: He's great. I mean, you got to see it firsthand. Game days he's so focused you can't really knock him off his, I don't know, distract him or anything like that. He's always focused and needle sharp focus. Something we can definitely take and add to your own.

Q. How different or how special is your first All-Star experience for you?
D'ANGELO RUSSELL: It's great. To get this opportunity to be around so many great players, it just feels good. It's a good feeling to be around and you're one of those guys.

Q. Did you make any friends here so far?

Q. Not yet?

Q. You didn't talk to anybody?

Q. Can you describe a little bit yourself and maybe you're a very outgoing person or something like that?
D'ANGELO RUSSELL: Definitely outgoing. Try to have fun with every opportunity. Don't try to treat everybody, like, for example, the All-Star. Don't treat it like I've been here before. Treat it like it's your first time, which it is, so try to have fun with it and the opportunity I've got.

Q. I know this is your first year, so do you have like any special thought about your first year?

Q. What grade would you give yourself for the past three months? I know the team is struggling, but for yourself, do you feel like you've already gotten improvement during the season?
D'ANGELO RUSSELL: Yeah, there's just been ups and downs. So a lot of, I don't know, it's just been ups and downs basically.

Q. There is a lot of crowd outside and a lot of people asking questions, does that bother you?
D'ANGELO RUSSELL: It doesn't bother me. Just last year, like I said, he's deserved every bit of this farewell tour. Even though we're struggling, he deserves it all.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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