During the Los Angeles Lakers’ introductory press conference last Friday for Lonzo Ball, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson took a shot at D’Angelo Russell by essentially stating he lacks the leadership ability needed to be a franchise player.
In light of that, Russell finally issued back a response during his Brooklyn Nets introductory press conference on Monday morning by stating that Johnson’s comments were “irrelevant,” according to ESPN.
“It is good to be here,” Russell said at the Nets’ practice facility in Brooklyn. “Can’t really control that, what they say, I’m gone. So it’s the past. I am here now. It’s irrelevant, honestly.”
Russell also went on to state that he doesn’t need to prove the Lakers wrong for trading him away after just two seasons in order to motivate himself as a player. All of this gave off the impression that the 21-year-old was disappointed by Johnson’s comments but wants to move from the situation to his new team.
Although it’s a clear shot at Russell, it also shows the tremendous amount of faith the organization has in Ball developing into the player that can not only lead the franchise to success but also eventually an NBA title. In fact, Johnson was over the top with his praise calling the 19-year-old the “new face of the Lakers”
It may be a tough pill to swallow for Russell, but quickly closing the book on this portion of his career without much controversy and attention may be what’s best for his transition to playing in Brooklyn.
Bob Garcia IV
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