In an exclusive interview with Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo Sports, D’Angelo Russell apologized profusely for recording a video that was never meant to see the light of day.
“I am sick,” Russell told Wojnarowski before the Lakers’ game against the Miami Heat on Wednesday. “I am sorry about recording the video. I can’t repeat myself enough on that: I am sorry I recorded that video. I feel horrible. I wish this never happened.”
A video that Russell recorded as a “prank” back in December leaked earlier this week after a celebrity gossip site released the footage on their Twitter page.
The video appeared to be filmed by Russell while asking teammate Nick Young about personal, off-the-court matters.
Russell insists this kind of prank was an on going thing with Young, and the two had regularly been recording videos of each other during the season.
“The thing is, we record ourselves doing dumb stuff all the time,” Russell said. “On the road or home, wherever. We go back and watch what we did and said and laugh at ourselves. I guess I just never thought that these pranks we pull on ourselves could have bigger consequences. That was a big lesson I learned.”
Russell told Wojnarowski that he apologized to Young, though it’s not clear if the 30-year-old accepted the rookie’s apology.
It’s easy to forget that Russell is a 20-year-old kid who would be just finishing his second year of college right now if he hadn’t declared for the NBA Draft last summer.
He knows that he messed up, and he’s ready to learn from this mistake and move on.
“Listen, man, I know that it will take some time to regain trust and confidence,” Russell said. “I hope they know I would never intentionally hurt someone – and know how horrible I feel…. I know this is going to be tough. I am a good person. I cherish the relationships I have and I would never intentionally hurt someone. I will work hard to earn back the trust of my teammates and those who were impacted by this.”
And just how badly does Russell want to right this wrong?
“I have the best job in the world, playing for this franchise, in a city that I love,” Russell told Wojnarowski. “You have to be willing to take the good with the bad, and that’s part of this job. … But I feel even stronger today than I did then. I love this city and love this franchise. … I take nothing for granted.
“I’ll do whatever it takes.”