Lakers’ Montrezl Harrell visits with his kids in Atlanta, making trip extra special
The Lakers landed in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon, and the excitement began to build for Montrezl Harrell because he was going to see his kids, 2-year-old daughter Alyeisha and 3-month-old son Amari, and that mattered more than anything.
They were happy to see their dad too, but more so to show him things on their iPads than to watch him play with the Lakers against the Atlanta Hawks.
With his two kids sitting in the stands Monday night, Harrell did what he does best — work hard, hustle, play with bursts of energy and score with few plays being run for him.
Harrell was as efficient as ever, scoring 19 points and missing just one of his nine field-goal tries and one of his four free-throw attempts in doing his part to help the Lakers pull out a 107-99 win over the Hawks.
When the game was over and the Lakers had finished their long trip with a 5-2 record, Harrell turned his attention to his kids.
The Lakers held off the Hawks 107-99 in Atlanta, but the buzz afterward was about an interaction between LeBron James and several courtside fans that led to their ejection.
“That was a breath of fresh air, man,” Harrell said via videoconference. “Anytime I’m around my kids. ... They are growing up. They are growing each day. Just to see them on their iPads and have conversations ... about the things they are doing on their iPads is just one of the most amazing feelings in this world that I can ever ask for. I think the best feeling really is just when I come in the room, my kids, their face lights up instantly and it’s ‘Dad.’ You can’t ask for anything no better than that. I love my kids to death. They’re my entire world. It’s just a great blessing to have them in my life. I do everything for them, do anything for them, for them and my family.”
What Harrell has done for the Lakers is give them another weapon off the bench.
He’s shooting 63.6% from the field this season, good for fifth in the NBA.
“[I] just try to put myself in good position to offensive rebound,” Harrell said. “I have great confidence going to the ball. I have confidence in my offensive game. But just being able to get as open as much as possible ...”
For the second consecutive game, Harrell found himself on the court to start the fourth quarter with Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kyle Kuzma and lone starter LeBron James.
That group opened the fourth with an 11-0 run to give the Lakers a 10-point lead.
“We’re playing extremely hard, covering for one another, and we run,” James said. “Myself, THT [Talen Horton-Tucker], Caruso, Kuz [Kuzma] and Trezz [Harrell], we have a lot of energy, lot of speed, and we just let ourselves play basketball. It’s our whole team, but that group in particular.”
A strong performance by the Lakers’ bench, coupled with some big defensive plays, proved critical in a 96-95 win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.
The Lakers were not leaving Atlanta until Tuesday, and that was going to allow Harrell more time to spend with his kids and the rest of his family.
“It’s a big excitement. I really get to get out there and just be able to see my family,” he said. “It’s been tough with the COVID and travel and different things like that. I don’t try to have my kids or run the risk of having any harm. Just being able to be around them and just feel that energy the past two days that I had with them. I’m about to go spend the rest of the night with them leading up to us leaving tomorrow.”
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