D'Angelo Russell passive-aggressively calls out Darvin Ham after Lakers' loss

Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Lakers
Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Lakers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

The entire 2023-24 season has been start-and-stop for the Los Angeles Lakers. Right when it looks like the team is going to pick up some momentum it comes to a crashing stop with an ugly loss. That, once again, happened on Wednesday night as the Lakers suffered a disappointing defeat against the Sacramento Kings.

D'Angelo Russell, who has carried the team as of late with his offensive play, had a quiet night from the field as he finished with only six points. Russell is not the reason the Lakers' lost, but is a microcosm of the Lakers' over-reliance on hero ball and how that is not suitable for sustained success.

Russell was not happy after the game and the primary reason did not appear to be because of his quiet night. Instead, Russell showed some frustration in the team going away from Rui Hachimura in the second half after he had a dominant first half scoring the basketball for LA.

D'Angelo Russell fires passive-aggressive shot at Darvin Ham after Lakers loss

This has become a trend with the Lakers this season. Any time the team hits one of the "stop" parts of the schedule the spotlight is turned directly on Ham. It is fair to say that Ham has done a poor job coaching the team this season and there have been several quotes just like this that support that thesis.

Russell and Ham particularly have not had the closest relationship, with the former recently admitting that Ham's relationship with Dennis Schroder held him back last season. D'Lo has not been shy about sharing his frustrations in the past as they really do seem to be hitting a boiling point.

And to be fair to Russell, going away from Hachimura in the second half makes absolutely no sense. Hachimura was the hottest scorer on the floor in the first half and the Lakers needed to ride that to close the game.

Instead, after going 8/10 from the field in the first half, Hachimura attempted just one shot (which he made and was assisted by D'Lo) in the second half. Ham did nothing to draw up plays for the forward, and it is clear by Russell's "no comment" that this was not coincidental. For whatever reason, Ham did not want to feed the hot hand.

All of this is just mounting evidence for the Lakers to move on this season. Regardless of how you spin it, this season has been a massive disappointment for the purple and gold with the team getting a mostly healthy LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

It is an awful look for Ham that the Lakers are not even a top-eight seed, and an even worse look that his players have no hesitation to air him out any chance they get.

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