by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
LOS ANGELES — Newly signed Lakers forward Montrezl Harrell played in his first pre season game in the purple and gold against his former team the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night. Harrell finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds in the Lakers 87-81 victory of their hallway neighbors.
Harrell emphasized that he still has some ties with his former team like conversing with Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley, guys whom he spent many years playing along side with. He also never forgot how his former team never wanted him to return nor reached out during the free agency process.
Harrell is focused on making his impact on this team and helping them win another championship to put in the organization’s trophy case. He is all about the business on the floor.
“I came here with the mindset that I had a job to do tonight. I’m here with my team, which is the Los Angeles Lakers,” Harrell said. “This wasn’t a come out, ‘hey, how you guys doing?’ laughing it up. Nah. I had a job, and I have a mindset of what I came here to do.”
He is one of the most high energy guys you’ll have in your locker room, and plays mostly with a focus and intensity that is unmatched at times by his opponents.
With the competitive rivalry between both teams and the trash talking that ensued, many zeroed in on the antics of Beverley when Harrell missed a jumper.
“That doesn’t faze me, man. He’s the same Pat that used to be doing that when I would shoot and be on the other team with Lou and miss jump shots, or miss a layup or something like that, man. That doesn’t faze me, man. This is basketball,” Harrell said. “If we weren’t in a pandemic and it was a Clippers home game, the fans would be yelling at me and it wouldn’t be no different, man.
“I’m not worried about what Pat is doing on the sidelines. Everything that he’s doing on the sidelines… It’s not anything different than what I knew Pat brought to the table, but it doesn’t faze me. I’m a basketball player, just like these guys are.”
For a preseason game the turn up was real, and with each game the chippy nature will increase with game, especially when Lebron James and Anthony Davis play in these heated contests.
It’s clear that both Harrell and Beverley are not mortal enemies as they made it abundantly clear on their social media handles, however just two competitive guys that want to win with their respective teams at all cost.
“I wish those guys the best of luck,” Harrell said regarding the Clippers.
I’m sure Harrell does not want to answer any more questions regarding his former team after opening night on December 22, and he shouldn’t have to. Harrell is proving he’s an asset worthy of being on this Lakers team and will hold his own at all cost.