A sour end to the 2019-20 NBA season for LA Clippers may have driven Montrez Harrell to leave the team in Free Agency. His departure was rather unpleasant, stemming out of partiality towards Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. In a recent interview, he downplayed the Clippers organizations by pointing out differences between them and the Lakers.
The 2020 sixth man of the year was a valuable asset to the Clippers during his time with the team. His chemistry with ex-teammate Lou Williams was impeccable and together, they nearly defeated the perfectly healthy Golden State Warriors in the 2019 playoffs. However, things changed after Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were signed by the Clippers.
If the regular season was to be believed, the Clippers were on their way to the NBA finals and quite possibly winning the ring as well. But to everyone’s surprise, they were eliminated in the second round of playoffs by lower-seeded Denver Nuggets. The loss was majorly blamed on Paul George’s consistently disappointing performance throughout the series. After the loss, locker room tensions came to light.
There were rumours about disagreements between the bench and Paul George, who was not holding himself accountable for the outcome. In addition, special treatments given to PG and Kawhi were also being frowned upon by the roster especially after their underwhelming performance against the Nuggets.
As a result of all these tensions, Montrez Harrell chose to sign with the Lakers in the postseason and openly addressed the discriminations in the Clippers organization.
“We play basketball here”- Harrell criticizes LA Clippers with a snarky comment
In conversation with Orange County Register, Montrezl Harrell appreciates the ‘free-flowing’ nature of basketball with the LA Lakers which he feels was lacking with the Clippers. Although he didn’t explicitly mention the Clippers, it is quite obvious since he played for the team for about three years prior to the Lakers.
He felt players were restricted to a certain job during his time on the Clippers be it 3s, free throws, or shooting. However, with the Lakers, they are free to choose what they want to do and strategies are moulded according to that.
“It’s really just being able to just play my game and just not being kind of told, ‘You always got to be this, this or this. It’s kind of been the system I’ve kind of been playing in for a while. It’s got to be threes, layups or let’s get free throws.
But that’s not like that over here. They play to the style of everybody’s game and we’re not looking at anybody that, ‘You have to do this, you got to do that,’ man. We play basketball over here. It’s a free-flowing game.”
It appears Montrezl Harrell is well settled with the Lakers however, his former team isn’t doing that bad without him either. LA Clippers managed to beat them once on Christmas this season but we know better than to judge teams based on their regular-season performance.