D’Angelo Russell faced a tough decision when it came to playing in his game against the Wolves Sunday night. Early that morning, his grandmother passed away. Russell decided to play in the game, because he believed that’s what his grandmother would have wanted. Trusting his gut, Russell hit a crazy game-winner, falling through the net as time expired. Check out the shot here:
Russell revealed after the game just what him and his family had been going through that day. He explained that basketball helped him express his feelings, saying:
“I knew that’s what my grandma would have wanted. My dad, brothers, and everyone wanted me to play. I wanted to get away from basketball. I didn’t want to express myself through basketball but it was the only option I had and I tried to take advantage of it.”
He continued, telling ESPN:
“I just wanted to win,” said Russell, who had 16 points. “Win the game, and winning shot, it’s just God putting the cherry on top. The win would have been good enough.”
His coach, Luke Walton, explained from his point of view:
“You could tell he was hurting, I could tell it was painful for him, and it wasn’t easy to talk about, but you could see how much love he had for her when he was speaking about it, which was kind of awesome to see.”
The Lakers continue to have the third-worst record in the NBA, but maybe this emotional moment will give the Lakers motivation to keep winning.