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#pounditFriday, September 17, 2021

D’Angelo Russell on doubters: Everyone was wrong about me

The Brooklyn Nets are on the verge of making the playoffs for the first time since 2015, and D’Angelo Russell deserves much of the credit for that. The star point guard doesn’t mind taking it, either.

Following Brooklyn’s 110-96 win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday, Russell was asked about the terrific season he is having. While he has said he cares more about winning than his 20.9 points and 7.0 assists per game, he clearly loves proving the doubters wrong.

Russell scored 29 points against Boston, which gives him 20 or more points in six of the Nets’ past seven games. Brooklyn is currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference with five games remaining, so Russell will need to be at his best over the final two weeks of the regular season.

Trading Russell was one of the first moves Magic Johnson made when he took over the Los Angeles Lakers’ basketball operations department, and Magic was critical of Russell publicly and said he needed better leadership at the point guard position. That situation has clearly helped Russell play with a chip on his shoulder, and Nets fans have had no problem taunting Johnson over it.

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