Lakers' Schroder wants to run it back: 'I’m going to work my ass off'

Adam Pantozzi / National Basketball Association / Getty

Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder says the team will be back stronger than ever next season after its underwhelming playoff performance.

"We going to be back," the pending free agent told the Los Angeles Times' Broderick Turner following Thursday's 113-100 defeat to the Phoenix Suns.

"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," he added. "I’m going to work my ass off this summer to come back and be me."

Whether the Lakers want Schroder in the fold again next season remains to be seen, and the 27-year-old didn't help his case over the latter stages of this past campaign.

Schroder turned down an $84-million extension offer from the Lakers during the season, and the German playmaker twice missed stretches due to the league's health and safety protocols. The latest absence ended with two regular-season contests remaining, and Schroder's performances since then have been inconsistent.

"It wasn’t about money, because everybody who knows me, it’s not about money either," Schroder told Turner. "Of course, you want to be fair. But at the end of the day, not everything is about money - for me and my family. ... If everything is good, we gonna come back and win a championship next year."

For those who read into online tea leaves, Schroder removed the Lakers from his Instagram bio after Game 5, added the team back prior to Thursday's elimination game, then took the club off again following the defeat.

Schroder did manage to contribute 20 points, three rebounds, and three assists in Thursday's loss to the Suns, a significant improvement on his zero points in the pivotal Game 5 that Los Angeles dropped.

For the series, Schroder averaged 14.3 points and 2.8 assists while shooting 40.3% from the floor and 31.9% from deep. Those numbers were all lower than his regular-season output.

The Lakers' fortunes were largely tethered to the health of their two marquee stars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. A high ankle sprain that resulted in James missing 20 games - the longest absence of his career - at times appeared to bother him. Davis, meanwhile, missed Game 5 with an injured groin before aggravating the ailment on Thursday and exiting early.

"... Next year we going to come back, everybody is going to be healthy and like I said, it’s going to be great," Schroder said.

"I mean, we got to go through the bullshit to get to the good shit," Schroder added. "That’s how I take it. I mean, we went through a lot of stuff this year."

Lakers' Schroder wants to run it back: 'I’m going to work my ass off'
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