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.
D’Angelo Russell was traded to the Brooklyn Nets from Los Angeles in part because of some drama he started with a former teammate, and fans don’t want to let him forget about it.
Russell had a rough shooting night in Saturday’s 114-112 win over the Atlanta Hawks. He scored 18 points but converted on just 6-of-23 field goals and 3-of-12 from three-point range. At one point, a group of fans at the State Farm Arena began taunting him with “All-Star snitch” chants.
If you somehow don’t get the reference, Hawks fans were mocking Russell over the video he shared on social media that contributed in Nick Young breaking up with Iggy Azalea.
Russell did make his first All-Star team this year, and his 20.4 points and 6.8 assists per game are largely responsible for the Nets being a playoff team. However, he’s clearly a very polarizing figure already. Just days before he was being heckled in Atlanta, Russell was the reason Nets fans were taunting Lakers executive Magic Johnson.
D’Angelo Russell had another big game in Wednesday night’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Brooklyn Nets fans want to make sure Magic Johnson knows how much they appreciate it.
Russell is enjoying a breakout year in his second season with Brooklyn, averaging 20.5 points and 6.8 assists per game. He has carried the Nets to victory in multiple games and is one of the main reasons they are in position to make the playoffs for the first time in four years. When Russell was at the free throw line late in Wednesday’s game, some Nets fans began chanting, “Thank you, Magic!”
Trading Russell was one of Johnson’s first moves when he took over the Lakers’ basketball operations department. Johnson was critical of Russell in public and said he had to find better leadership at the point guard position. The Lakers eventually drafted Lonzo Ball, and you have to wonder if they would be better off with Russell now.
Of course, Russell created a lot of problems for himself in L.A. with the drama involving him and Nick Young. Regardless of that, Johnson is always going to be questioned for the trade as long as Russell continues to play at a high level.
D’Angelo Russell is having a breakout season for the surprising Brooklyn Nets, which has his head coach duly impressed.
Russell scored 31 points and made 7 of 14 threes in the Nets’ 123-94 win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday. After their win, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson compared Russell to James Harden for some of his three-point shooting.
Nobody is going to say that Russell is as good as Harden, but some of his shots seem right out of Harden’s playbook.
Russell is up to 19 points, 6.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Most impressively, he’s shooting .437/.374/.810, which are the best marks of his career. He’s stepping up this year.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ trade of D’Angelo Russell last offseason came as a shock to many but apparently not as much to Russell himself.
In an interview with The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears that ran on Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets guard discussed the Lakers sending him packing.
“I kind of expected it,” said Russell. “I feel like when a lot of guys get traded, you kind of expect it. In L.A., everything is magnified. This being the topic of discussion, it usually happens.
“Nah. Hell no,” Russell added when asked if he was upset by it. “I knew it was a business and I expected it. I was already two weeks ahead of being upset, being past that. I was more like, I wanted to go somewhere where I could take advantage of what I bring to the table, and Brooklyn was a great place.”
Russell was selected No. 2 overall by the Lakers in 2015 but was shown the door after just two seasons. Still just 22 years old, he is having a strong debut season in Brooklyn (though he has missed 34 games due to injury).
Of course, when you consider all the drama that Russell caused while he was still with the Lakers, maybe that is why he saw the writing on the wall.
D’Angelo Russell managed to get a technical foul while wearing street clothes during the Nets’ game against the Knicks.
During the third quarter of Monday’s game, Russell, who is recovering from a knee injury, earned himself a technical foul while sitting on the bench in jeans and a blazer. While Enes Kanter was at the free-throw line, Russell clapped his hands in the direction of referee Brian Forte, who assessed the foul.
The ensuing free-throw by Courtney Lee tied a Knicks record for consecutive made free-throws.
Russell, in his first season with the Nets, underwent knee surgery in November. No timetable has been set for Russell’s return, although he did practice with the team’s G League affiliate on Monday. In 12 games this season, Russell averaged 20.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 5.7 assists.
D’Angelo Russell underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Friday, though there is no timetable for his return.
The Brooklyn Nets guard got hurt in Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz and has not played since. He was expected to miss several games following the injury, and it looks like that will be the case.
Spencer Dinwiddie is seeing extra action without Russell in the lineup. The Nets are in a tough spot because Jeremy Lin also went down with a knee injury in the team’s season opener.
Nets GM Sean Marks expects Russell to return this season.
D’Angelo Russell is expected to miss several games due to a knee injury, according to a report.
The Brooklyn Nets guard left Saturday’s game at Utah with a knee injury and limped off the court. Now ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says Russell is likely to miss several games.
Russell is in his first season with the Brooklyn Nets after being traded there by the Lakers during the offseason. The former No. 2 overall pick had 26 points, six rebounds and three assists prior to leaving the game.
For the season Russell is averaging 20.9 points, 5.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game. If he misses time, he will be Brooklyn’s second starting guard to be sidelined with a knee injury. Jeremy Lin suffered a serious knee injury in the first game of the season.
The calendar has flipped to November, Daylight Savings Time is no more, and most teams have played their first ten games or so, leaving roughly 72 contests remaining on the schedule. Of course, that can only mean one thing: [sounds airhorn] it’s Overreaction Season. And perhaps the most sacred of all the Overreaction Season traditions is fangirling over those who have successfully turned those 3 a.m. Instagram workouts and that reported 15 pounds of extra muscle into greater productivity on the court. Standing high above the rest of the field, here are the 12 most improved players of the 2017-18 season so far:
Kristaps Porzingis, PF, New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony’s departure was all that was needed for our Latvian messiah to reveal himself fully. Porzingis has mutated into a nightly 30-point scoring threat now that he is the focal point of the Knickerbockers’ offense (sometimes even 40 as he proved on Sunday night in a comeback win over the Indiana Pacers), and he has been stunningly efficient despite the massive increase in volume (a career-high 50.0 percent shooting). One of Porzingis’ teammates thinks his scorching start should place him squarely in the MVP conversation. I might even take it a step further and call for beatification if he continues to flex with end-to-end displays of power like this:
Steven Adams, C, Oklahoma City Thunder
Spacing saves. With Carmelo Anthony starting at power forward instead of Taj Gibson, and Paul George stretching out opposing defenses instead of Victor Oladipo, Adams can finally rumble down the lane to his heart’s content for the Thunder. He has responded to the opportunity in kind with his best season both scoring (12.4 points per game) and rebounding (8.3 boards). Toss in his intimidating interior defense, and this mustachioed maestro looks like he’s worth every penny of the $100 million that Oklahoma City invested in him last season. What else is there to say? Funaki is a force.
Aaron Gordon, PF, Orlando Magic
D’Angelo Russell has admitted that Magic Johnson’s comments about his leadership ability bothered him more than he tried to let on.
Russell, now with the Brooklyn Nets, was traded by the Los Angeles Lakers during the offseason, with Johnson repeatedly saying he sought better leadership at the point guard position. Russell shrugged off the comments at the time, but now, after facing the Lakers for the first time, he admitted that they made things tough for him.
“I would say it ruffled a few feathers,” Russell said of the comments, via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “But you control what you can control. He’s in a position to say what he wants, so I just try to do what I can do at the end of the day.”
Russell feels he should be commended for weathering an often tumultuous tenure in Los Angeles.
“I went through a lot when I was here,” Russell said. “It’s nothing I could really control. It was out of my hands by that point [when he was traded].
“I went through a lot — Kobe’s farewell, everything. … So just to overcome that, I salute myself for that.”
Some of Russell’s Laker issues were at least partially brought upon himself. It was probably better for everyone involved that he got a fresh start elsewhere.