D'Angelo Russell is now an Eastern Conference All-Star, albeit as an injury replacement as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. Just a short time ago, Russell was a top pick for the Los Angeles Lakers before a trade sent him to New York.
Russell is producing for the Nets, although whether he’s doing it at an All-Star level is up for some debate. Meanwhile, things are a bit tumultuous back in his old home of LA.
For that, Russell is glad. Talking to Bleacher Report this week, the Nets guard said that he was happy that he didn’t have to go through what the youngsters in Los Angeles are dealing with.
“I can’t imagine what they’re trying to block out,” Russell says. Later, he adds: “If [the Lakers] didn’t let me go then, they were gonna let me go now, and I’d be going through what they’re going through. Best thing that happened in my career.”
It’s certainly true that Russell would likely be part of a package or a superstar offer if he were still with the Lakers today. Whether LA will be able to pull off a trade with the guys they have now is another question altogether.
In any case, no young player wants to know that they aren’t wanted, or feel inferior, or be seen as merely an asset. Being in LA is great for LeBron James, but it doesn’t seem all that beneficial to younger players. It seems like Russell has found a home in Brooklyn and is happy to be part of a burgeoning young core with the Nets.