Dennis Schroeder on the “next mission” of the NBA.

In Germany, the national basketball player Dennis Schroeder shone his reputation with a strong European championship and an unexpected bronze medal. now the Los Angeles Lakers need to really get to know him.

“I understood that right for the nation. But now here is the next mission, it won’t be easy,” the 29-year-old told the German Press Agency after returning to the Californian capital. “We have what it takes and I’m trying everything in my power to get it right, just like I did at Nationals.”

Contempt and ridicule for Schroeder’s first appearance in Los Angeles

Schroeder already claimed the NBA record champion in the 2020/2021 season. In a season that was mostly played without spectators due to the corona epidemic, the then defending champion was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns. Although LeBron James and Anthony Davis were often injured and the team was missing key players, the main criticism was the point guard from Germany.

“Lakers” legend Magic Johnson even went so far as to call out after him. “Schroeder, I don’t think he’s a Laker.” The fact that he also turned down a four-year offer from the Lakers, according to media reports, and chose to negotiate a new contract as a free agent drew additional scorn and derision instead of making more money, as was likely the case. hoped he signed a deal that ended with the Boston Celtics for $5.9 million and one season.

After his first training session with the Lakers, Schroeder took a stand on both issues. He gave the same explanation to reporters in Los Angeles that he had previously addressed elsewhere. “There was never a contract and I never refused anything.” However, he himself lived “strangely” with the glamor team during the first months in the capital of American entertainment. “That’s why I said I’m playing here for free too. Just to straighten it out and get everybody on the right track,” he said. “There is still unfinished business here and we have to take care of it and win the title, that’s the goal.”

When asked about Johnson’s comments, he initially just shrugged. “I’ve never met Magic Johnson and I’ve never seen him. “I would never, as a grown man, judge or talk about someone if I didn’t know them,” he finally said. “What can I say about what people on the outside are saying who aren’t there? It’s also about being relevant in the media. I try to focus on what’s in front of me and what I can control.”

Schroeder knows the Lakers coach very well

Chances are good he’ll do better the second time around in the legendary yellow jersey with purple numbers. Starting this season, the coach of the Lakers is Darwin Hamm, with whom Schroeder worked for five years in the Atlanta Hawks. “I’ve known him since day one as a rookie,” Hamm said. “He is like a family to me.”

For Schroeder, Hamm is “the main reason, to be honest” that there will be a second attempt in Los Angeles. He also calls her “family”. For his part, Hamm specifically credits Schroeder’s strong EM as a deciding factor in Lakers manager Rob Pelinka’s interest in working together again. “His performances this summer have been incredible. It shows his maturity, the way he led the team,” Ham said. “Not just the stats, his energy, the way he carried the group throughout the tournament, it just shows how much he’s grown.”

Whether Schroeder will be in the starting lineup for the season opener on Oct. 18 against the defending champion Golden State Warriors is an open question. He missed a lot of prep time, and the Lakers also signed Patrick Beverley in his post and went on to sign the controversial Russell Westbrook. In any case, it will not fail because of Schroeder’s motivation. “I will do everything to win and settle this exceptional score,” he said. So that at the end of the season in Los Angeles they will be as excited about him as the fans of the German national team.

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