D'Angelo Russell sends loud message to Lakers, Darvin Ham after win over Clippers

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers got back into the win column on Sunday night with a 106-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. For a Lakers team that has struggled immensely in recent weeks, beating the rivaled Clippers (who are playing well) was a step in the right direction.

Even after a promising win, though, there was still a stench around the Lakers that was hard to ignore. This still does not look like a team that is gelling together (or believes in its head coach) with D'Angelo Russell being at the center of that.

After missing several games with a tailbone injury, Russell returned to play on Sunday and had a decent game. D'Lo wasn't bad by any stretch and he had good moments but he certainly was not playing at his best. It was Russell's decision after the game, though that caught Lakers fans' attention. Not his play.

D'Angelo Russell shunning reporters after Lakers loss may be the beginning of his end in LA

In most instances this would not be a massive deal. Players do not have to speak to the media after every single game and if we made a big deal every time this happened then we would be writing about it daily. But this is a different scenario given everything that has happened.

Let's rewind it all the way back to the 2023 offseason when the Lakers re-signed Russell. The Lakers paid a bit more than market price for Russell on a deal where he agreed to waive his trade kicker. By doing this, both the Lakers and Russell were pretty much saying that he could be traded at midseason.

Fast forward to December when head coach Darvin Ham decided to bench Russell and bring him off the bench. Russell isn't necessarily the best one to take this news and we know that after reports emerged during last year's playoffs that the team didn't want to bench him in fear of "losing him" with the season on the line.

D'Lo doesn't seem to be very happy (which is in line with most of the rest of the team) and it really does seem like his days on the Lakers are limited. This is not something you do if you are happy and you just re-signed a 12-month lease on your LA apartment. This is something you do if you already have one foot out the door.

And for better of worse, it really does appear that Russell has one foot out of the Lakers' door.

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