Dennis Schroder: Playing with LeBron, AD on Lakers an 'Honor' but Not 'Right Fit'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 3: Dennis Schroder #71 of the Boston Celtics dribbles the ball during the game against the Utah Jazz on December 3, 2021 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Boston Celtics point guard Dennis Schroder said Tuesday it was an "honor" to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis during his one season with the Los Angeles Lakers, even if it didn't ultimately work out for the best, per Brian Robb of MassLive.com.

"To play with AD and LeBron. It was an honor to play with them and see every single day how they work and how they do things on the court, off the court, it's just a blessing," he said ahead of Tuesday's matchup between the Celtics and Lakers. "It's the reason I'm grateful that I've seen it, but for me, personally, it wasn't the right fit."

He continued:

"That's the reason I was hesitating a little bit. The way I played is not how Dennis played over his whole career in the NBA, so that's the reason I was like, 'OK, I have to see how it's going next.' That's the reason why I even didn't talk to the organization and said, 'Listen, we can talk about (the contract) after the season. I want to concentrate during the season to finish it.' Now, in the situation I'm in, I think I'm 100 percent comfortable so far. You feel the appreciation, you feel the organization is trying to help you, your family, your friends or whatever. It's been great so far. I mean, this is all I wanted, and I think we can accomplish something big here."

Schroder, 28, went from averaging 18.9 points per game in the 2019-20 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three to 15.4 points per game with the Lakers last season, shooting 43.7 percent from the field and just 33.5 percent from three. 

While his role changed—he was OKC's sixth man, whereas he started for the Lakers—it was a disappointing overall year for the veteran point guard. And he apparently wanted a change in scenery so badly that he reportedly turned down a four-year, $84 million extension with the Lakers to instead hit free agency this summer.

Perhaps he also thought he could have gotten that kind of money in free agency, but he ended up signing with the Boston Celtics on a one-year, $5.9 million deal. The Lakers replaced him by trading for veteran point guard Russell Westbrook, with the jury still out on his fit next to James and Davis. 

Neither the Lakers (12-12) nor Celtics (13-11) have played up to expectation thus far. However, Schroder's fit in Boston has been much better than it was in Los Angeles.

"I've always felt like he was a great competitor," Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens said. "Again, everybody that I talk to had great things to say about him in all those other ways, and that's been totally validated. He's a great teammate, a really enjoyable guy. His family is here, he's got a couple young kids. He is a really enjoyable guy to have around."