Bats swarm Lakers practice, so D'Angelo Russell put out the Bat-Manu signal

Ben Rohrbach
D'Angelo Russell has ice in his veins, except when it comes to bats. (screenshots)
D’Angelo Russell has ice in his veins, except when it comes to bats. (screenshot)

D’Angelo Russell wanted to be like Manu Ginobili when he grew up, modeling his game after the San Antonio Spurs guard, but when it comes to confronting bats at AT&T Center, that’s a Eurostep too far.

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Russell and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates tried to get some work in at San Antonio’s arena on an off day before Thursday’s game against the Spurs, but their practice session was interrupted by several bats, as in those flying rodent-like mammals, which brought shootaround to a screeching halt.

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“We got bats on the floor. You see my main man [Julius Randle] is getting his work in, and we got bats on the floor,” Russell said in a Snapchat video.

And sure enough, there were bats on the floor. “See the bats,” he added. “Yo, where’s Ginobili when you need him. Yo, we got bats. Oh, my God.”

Russell was referencing the time in 2009, when a bat swooped down from the AT&T Center rafters during play in a Spurs game against the Sacramento Kings on Halloween. Ginobili swatted the bat out of the air, picked it up and handed it to security. The arena then blared the theme from “Batman.”

This actually happened.

Bats have descended upon San Antonio’s court several times since, against the Kings again in 2011 and before a Minnesota Timberwolves game in 2015. A fan and the Spurs mascot respectively captured those vermin with a towel and a net. This time around, a bat came back with some friends. This is what those in the bat community refer to as a colony, and there’s apparently one inside AT&T Center.

And folks are frightened out here.

“Bats, are they dangerous, though?” someone asked Russell.

“Man, I don’t know,” the Lakers sophomore said. “They vampires to me. They eat people.”

This is the correct response.

Well, not entirely correct. As we learned from Ginobili’s Facebook in 2009, when PETA called Batmanu “a small man” for “bludgeoning a four-ounce animal to death” (even though it did not die) and likened him to Michael Vick, he required eight shots for fear the bat was carrying rabies, which can kill you.

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So, yeah, bats are basically vampires. Keep your distance, D’Angelo.

And maybe do something about that bat colony living inside your arena, San Antonio.

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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!