Larry Nance Jr.has been a fan favorite this off-season, especially after his stellar performance in Summer League. Today he talked with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders on their bi-weekly podcast. It was so much fun listening to him talk about the future of this team. I was able to pull some of the more important quotes including discussions he had about the current and former coaching cultures. Laker fans should be extremely excited. Larry Nance Jr. certainly is.
Larry Nance discussed when he really felt he was read for the NBA
“It was actually in a preseason game against Golden State in San Diego; everything happened perfectly for me. I had the dunk against Festus, I hit a 3, I hit a jumper, I got a hook shot; every facet of my game was working and you know that’s really when I really got my confidence ‘ok you know what I do belong here.’”
Larry Nance discussing his wrist injury he received in Summer League:
“The wrist is good, originally had it diagnosed as broken, but I would rather have it misdiagnosed as this way over the other. Hopeful to be a week, week and a half away from playing with it again”
Larry Nance also discussed the chemistry that he and the other young core share:
“Its a weird melding of guys. You got your McDonald’s All-Americans in Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, and then you got the guys that went to college for four years like me, Anthony Brown, and Jordan Clarkson. It’s a weird kind of meshing of youth, but we have really come together on and off the court with pickup games. But I think off the court is where we really improved. We do a lot of team dinners, team building stuff like that to where all of us are comfortable enough to call each other and say ‘Let’s go get something to eat, lets go hit the golf course.’ It’s a very good relationship we all have with each other and I think we’re all gearing up to be around each other for the next couple of years.”
Alex Kennedy also asked about the D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young fiasco and the trust that Larry has in Russell:
“That’s a situation that had to be handled between two men. We are all just ready to move forward. It was a bad year. As far as Russell gaining trust, I haven’t lost any for him. I went to the Summer League with him and he is still one of my best friends on the team. The more Russell shows on the court the more the team trusts him off it. He has already gained my trust and support.”
He also commented on the new rookies to join them
“Impressed with both of them, obviously Brandon is a terrific talent, he can do it in so many ways. The knock on him was that he was so skinny and frail… people will be impressed. He is not a baby. He is stronger than he looks and he will be really impressive. Z (Zubac) is my guy, he is hilarious. His English is a little spotty, but he is just so excited to be a part of everything. Laker fan his whole life so this is amazing to him. He is going to be really good too.”
Alex asked him about the addition of Luke Walton. Larry Nance had quite a few things to say about Luke’s new approach and the culture he has instilled. He also throws shade at the prior regime.
“He’s great, brings a whole new young up tempo. A new refreshing feel to everything you know. Personally, I love the offense we’re running, it opens up the court allows play makers to make plays and play finishers to finish plays. Benefits me as a high athlete guy, it benefits me if guys can get to the basket. I’m really excited how we utilize that. Get the ball off the rim, push it, and make decisions at the break. One thing that I hope for is playing on the same unit as Julius. Talk about fast basketball… that would be an athletic 4/5. I think I play some 3 some 4 and in small ball some 5. However coach decides to utilize me I deal with it.”
On the culture and a perfect metaphor for the situation.
“The way I put it: imagine going to work and it’s just a toxic work environment. The guys around you don’t see eye to eye with and your boss is demanding, it’s just kind of a drag going to work every day. Less gets done everybody is less productive. Then you go to an environment where the boss is flexible, you got guys around with you can talk and mess around with go to dinner after work. It makes you really not dread going to work. At least this summer I’ve really enjoyed going to the gym and seeing the faces and people that we’re with us now. That’s the culture change. You’re going to the gym seeing Luke and Randle and they’re laughing. Seeing Jordan and Russell shooting half court shorts and they’re laughing. The strength coaches are pumping people up. Alright, I’m ready to be a part of this lets go.”
Overall the podcast was a ton of fun to listen to and I hope everyone gets a chance to hear it. Larry Nance Jr.talks as if things have totally changed in the locker room. Additionally, he discussed the Lakers off season acquisitions, as well as what he has worked on this offseason. I suggest everyone listen to it when they get a chance.
For all your Lakers news, stay tuned to Lakers Pulse on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.