The 3-point line hasn’t always been the Los Angeles Lakers’ best weapon this season, but when they have gotten hot from deep, fans have seen the team do a very particular celebration. Considering this started not long after the Lakers acquired D’Angelo Russell, many assumed it was a take on his famous “Ice in my Veins” celebration.
But that actually isn’t the case. The origins of the celebration actually come via assistant coach Damon Jones and team card games. According to Dan Woike of the L.A. Times, the former player would bring out this celebration when would win a hand:
The first thing you need to know about the Lakers’ three-point celebration is that it’s not what you think.
When D’Angelo Russell pointed at his left forearm after scoring 39 points in 2016, he mouthed the words “ice in my veins.” So when the team started doing something similar shortly after Russell re-acquired by L.A. at the trade deadline, people assumed it was related to him.
No, the Lakers’ celebration ritual had its roots from earlier in the season in team card games. Former NBA guard Damon Jones, a team associate who works with James pregame, gets the credit, Schroder said.
When Jones would win a hand, he’d show his cards and say “Freeze” — as in “Freeze, Miami Vice!”
It was point guard Dennis Schroder who was the first player to be seen doing the move and he said prior to that game that he would do the move as a joke and it caught on since then:
As a joke, Schroder said he’d do the “Freeze!” as a celebration in the Lakers’ next game. That game just happened to be a 25-point comeback win in Portland, and sure enough if you review the video, Schroder looks to the Lakers’ bench and slightly extends his arm as if he’s showing his badge.
“Nobody move,” Schroder said with laugh when he remembered the origins. “…I just brought it in and every time when I made a three, I just said ‘Freeze.’ And then Bron went with it because he played cards with Jones back in the day and everybody just doing it.”
The key now for the Lakers is for them to be able to bring out that celebration at a much higher rate than they have seen in these Western Conference Finals. In particular, Russell and LeBron James have been ice cold from deep, but the Lakers as a team will need to shoot better if they plan on turning this series around in Los Angeles.
Lakers’ Austin Reaves doesn’t mind LeBron James shooting 3-pointers even when he’s struggling
James has arguably been struggling more than any other Lakers player from 3-point range this playoffs. He’s shooting just 23.3% from deep so far in the postseason and has yet to make a shot from three in the Western Conference Finals. But Austin Reaves says LeBron can shoot however many he wants to.
“Yeah, I mean, he can shoot all he wants. It’s LeBron James,” Reaves said. “I don’t think anybody bats an eye when he shoots a shot or questions his shot,” he said. “So, yeah, we want him taking whatever he feels comfortable with, just because he’s a winning basketball player for his whole career and that’s all he wants to do, he wants to win.”
LeBron is always going to do whatever he can to ensure the Lakers win and the entire team trusts him and his decision making.
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