Lakers News: D’Angelo Russell Fined $25,000 For Verbally Abusing Game Official After Series Loss To Nuggets
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA fined Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell $25,000 on Saturday for verbally abusing a game official. His actions occurred on the court after the Lakers’ season-ending Game 5 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday night, the league said.

It’s unclear what exactly Russell said to the official following the conclusion of Game 5, but with the Lakers’ season coming to a disappointing end, it’s understandable why he was upset and frustrated at the time. Lashing out on an official is obviously not something the league will tolerate though, so he will head into the offseason with his wallet feeling slightly lighter than before due to this fine.

The series against the Nuggets was again filled with ups and downs for Russell. Although he had a pair of good games, he did not bring much offensively in the other three. That includes going scoreless at home in Game 3 and finishing the season with 14 points and six assists but on just 6-of-15 shooting and 2-of-10 from 3-point range in the closeout Game 5.

That is not to underplay the regular season that Russell had though as he was exceptional for the Lakers, especially from the middle of January on when they were fighting for playoff positioning.

Overall in 76 regular season games, Russell averaged 18.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists while shooting 45.6% from the field and 41.5% from 3-point range on 7.1 attempts per game.

D’Angelo Russell hoping to take advantage of leverage going into offseason

Because of the season he had, Russell seems to be going into the offseason with a bit of leverage. He has an $18.7 million player option that he could pick up, either to return to the Lakers or get traded elsewhere, or he could decline it and test free agency after the quality season he is coming off of.

With that being the case, Russell is hoping to be able to use that leverage to make whatever decision he feels is best for himself and his family moving forward.

“I didn’t say I don’t think about it. When I signed my contract last year, I knew what position I was going to put myself in, so to be in that position now with a little leverage, I’ll try to take advantage of it,” Russell said at the conclusion of the season.

Even though Russell has enjoyed his second stint with the Lakers, it’s possible he will be departing once again depending on how things play out this summer.

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