Among the few storylines for Friday night’s preseason opener against the LA Clippers, was Montrezl Harrell playing his first game against his former teammates. While the intensity was obviously dimmed because of the low stakes, it was clear that the new Los Angeles Lakers big man wanted to put on a bit of a show in front of Kawhi Leonard and company.
Harrell finished the game with 13 points and 12 rebounds but struggled shooting the ball, as did almost everyone who played in the opener. He was also the subject of some mostly light-hearted trash-talking from Patrick Beverley which he took in stride, telling the media that “it doesn’t phase me.”
Most notably, however, was Harrell talking about his approach to the game, first saying that he did not talk to his former teammates (other than Beverley and Lou Williams) until after the game because he “had a job to do.” Then, when asked how he thought the Clippers looked, Harrell dropped the line of the night:
Trezz is asked a question about how the second-year Clippers are looking, and responds by saying he wishes them well, but they aren't his teammates anymore. "That's got nothing to do with me."
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) December 12, 2020
As much as the players want to deny it, there was clearly a rivalry between the Lakers and Clippers last season. There was trash-talking from both sides and the regular-season matchups had an air of intensity that is rare to see in those settings. Harrell switching sides will only add more fuel to that fire and one can tell that the 26-year-old is more than happy to be in that position.