Dennis Schroder began his postgame videoconference talking about how he was going to “work my ass off” over the summer because he wanted to win a championship with the Lakers.
He and the Lakers had just been sent packing from the NBA playoffs, their 113-100 defeat to the Phoenix Suns ending their quest to repeat as champions by losing the best-of-seven series 4-2.
Schroder, who will be a free agent this summer, was asked late Thursday night if it was his intention to re-sign with the Lakers.
“The Lakers, they didn’t do nothing to me. They been great,” Schroder said. “They got the top two players [LeBron James and Anthony Davis] in the league. Everybody in the locker room is great, so at the end of the day, like I said, I want to be here and win the championship. That’s not even a question.”
The Lakers offered Schroder a contract extension during the season for four years and $84 million, but the point guard turned that down.
“It wasn’t about money, because everybody who knows me, it’s not about money either,” he said. “Of course, you want to be fair. But at the end of the day, not everything is about money — for me and my family. At the end of the day, if everything is good, we gonna come back and win a championship next year.”
Schroder had an up-and-down playoff series for the Lakers.
He averaged 14.3 points and 2.8 assists while shooting 40.3% from the field, 31.9% from three-point range. He didn’t score in Game 5, missing all nine of his shots.
All of those numbers were down from his 15.4 points per game during the regular season, when he also averaged 5.8 assists and 43.7% shooting from the field, 33.5% from three-point range.
But watching Davis trying to play in Game 6 with a groin injury that eventually forced him to stop during the first quarter impressed Schroder.
“That’s the reason why I’m committed,” Schroder said. “And I’m saying like, next year we going to come back, everybody is going to be healthy and like I said, it’s going to be great.”
Schroder had his own issues to deal with.
He twice was in the NBA’s health and safety protocols during the season.
When he returned from the protocols the second time to play in the last two regular-season games, Schroder was trying to get his body back in shape.
He had 20 points, three rebounds and three assists in Game 6 against the Suns.
Schroder still sounded like he wanted to run it back with the Lakers next season.
“I mean, we got to go through the [b—] to get to the good [s—],” Schroder said. “That’s how I take it. I mean, we went through a lot of stuff this year. …
“We going to be back. I’m going to work my ass off to come back here to give everything because we owe them fans one and I want to win a championship. I’m going to work my ass off this summer to come back and be me.”