It still seems a bit surreal that D’Angelo Russell is on the Golden State Warriors. The All-Star guard had a great year with the Brooklyn Nets during the 2018-19 campaign prior to entering restricted free agency, but shortly after hitting the market for the first time, Russell was dealt to the Dubs in a sign-and-trade that sent Kevin Durant to New York City.
Despite being swapped for Durant, Russell’s replacement came to the Nets in free agency when Brooklyn brought Kyrie Irving on board. That wasn’t a huge surprise — rumblings of the team’s interest in Irving had been in the news for some time prior to his hopping on board, which raised questions about whether the two could fit together in the same backcourt — but it was eyebrow-raising when Brooklyn turned Russell into Durant.
As it turns out, Russell wasn’t totally caught out of left field by the team moving on from him. Beyond the rumblings that the Nets were looking to grab some big names during the summer, Russell told Justin Termine of SiriusXM NBA Radio that he noticed people around the franchise acting differently, which led to him seeing the writing on the wall.
DLo on noticing how players, coaches, trainers started to act differently towards him in Brooklyn & taking that as a hint that they were going to move on from him. pic.twitter.com/KQWLYM4FfA
— UNO (@dlouno) October 28, 2019
“I never knew exactly,” Russell said around the 55-second mark of the video. “I just kinda … you work with these guys every day. You see the same players, you see the same coaches, you see the same trainers every day, so when they start to act a little different, you’ll recognize it, you know that. I could feel it, and I just kinda played the professional route, and came in, got my work in every day, and just control what I could control.”
That sounds like a pretty crappy situation, but at least Russell can take some solace in knowing he ended up in a pretty good situation. Despite their slow start to the season, Russell and Steph Curry team up to give the Dubs a potent 1-2 punch in their backcourt, and it seems like he’s fitting in pretty well with his new running mate.
(Via Nets Daily)