D’Angelo Russell stated last night that his time with the Brooklyn Nets has been excellent and that he has nothing but positive feeling for that episode in his career.
The sign-and-trade from the Nets to the Golden State Warriors has become official yesterday. The young guard was excited because of that and had a quick chat with the media, the first one as the Golden State player.
Among other questions, there was one considering his period at the Barclays Center.
“I have nothing but great things to say about Brooklyn,” Russell said. “It’s almost like going to high school before you got to go to college. You felt a little bit better before you got to college. That’s how I feel about Brooklyn. I got the complete structure that I needed. I feel totally prepared going into my next chapter.”
He and the Nets grew together, helping one another to create a better status in the NBA. The franchise from Brooklyn reached the playoffs after three seasons during which they had 69 wins combined. In the last campaign, the Nets recorded 42, and were one of the positive surprises in the league.
Meanwhile, Russell proved his worth, after being traded from the Lakers to Brooklyn. A lot of doubts were surrounding him at the time, but the 23-year old shut down all the skeptics by having an excellent run.
D-Lo averaged 21.1 points, 7 assists and had 43.4% from the field. He became an All-Star, which was the biggest achievement of his short career. But at the end of the season, it was time for him to move on, because the Nets brought in superstars, and made an environment which wouldn’t suit him well as before. There weren’t any hard feelings about it, as he understands how the NBA works.
“You saw the moves that have been made this summer. I thought it was good. They definitely got better by adding a good group of guys,” said Russell but added that he saw this as an opportunity for something else.
“It’s all about opportunity in this league, so taking advantage of it is what it was.”
Anyhow, Brooklyn will be remembered as the place where the No.2 pick from 2015 NBA draft flourished, and as a franchise which saw his true potential, snatching him from the Lakers and giving him the leading role. When he arrived at the East Coast, Russell was seen as a player who can’t fulfill expectations put in front of him. The Lakers had more trust in Lonzo Ball who was coming out of college than in this guy. But Brooklyn had totally the opposite view.
“I look at it as a chapter in a book,” Russell described his time at Barclays Center and with the Nets. “I thanked them for everything. They gave me that opportunity to be the best I can be.”
Russell signed a four-year deal worth $117 million, and his move was one of the most surprising one in this super-exciting free agency. Nobody could foresee it at the time.
The Warriors will now try to use this guy in maintaining their domination in the league. Klay Thompson will probably be out for the whole season which leaves Russell and Steph Curry as the two pivotal spots on the roster. This situation is perfect for D-Lo who could fit in perfectly in Steve Kerr’s playing philosophy.
“I’m excited more than anything,” Russell said. “It’s a huge opportunity just to take another step and learn from a great group of guys that marked their way in this league.”