Every athlete prepares for the upcoming season in different ways. For Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell, one particular player is his role model and inspiration for the NBA season.

It wasn’t LeBron James or Stephen Curry. It wasn’t Kobe Bryant or even Michael Jordan. Russell chose Boston Celtics guard Derrick White as the player he wanted to emulate this season.

“My inspiration has been Derrick White,” Russell told reporters following the Lakers preseason game on Sunday. “I want to be Derrick White. He doesn’t get a lot of credit for what he does. (He) makes all the winning plays and that’s who I want to be.”

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Russell said that preseason is a situation where you can control your own destiny and that’s how the 27-year-old guard is treating his second stint with the Lakers.

“I’m not using preseason as preseason,” Russell said. “I’m using it as the first few games of the season. That’s just my approach. If I look crazy doing it or picking up guys full court, diving, all that … that’s what I want to be.”

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Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla believes White’s humility, body language and dependability make him a good role model for other players like Russell.

“You can rely on him every single day. He understands it’s not always going to go his way, and he always has really good body language,” Mazzulla told reporters after practice on Monday. “He’s one of our intangible leaders because he brings it every single day and you can rely on him in those areas.

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“That’s a great goal to have to be like someone like him. I still think he’s underrated from a defensive standpoint because of how good he is. Hopefully, he continues to grow offensively, so we can see a different side of him.”

Mazzulla has expressed his faith in the Celtics point guard throughout the offseason, especially after Boston traded Marcus Smart in the blockbuster three-team deal for Kristaps Prozingis.

The Celtics have two final preseason games this week before their opening night tipoff against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 25.

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images