The Los Angeles Lakers made the somewhat shocking decision to deal D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets earlier this summer. The decision to essentially give up on the former no. 2 pick after only two seasons caught many off-guard.
In his two seasons in Los Angeles, Russell dealt with multiple different issues such as the infamous Nick Young incident as well as well as openly clashing with then-head coach Byron Scott during his rookie season.
Russell recently appeared on WFAN with Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts and spoke about whether he believes he got a fair deal with the Lakers (transcription via Nets Daily):
“It’s business, man. That’s how I got to look at it. A lot of things happen in this league and you don’t agree with it or however you may feel about it and at the end of the day realize it’s business.”
Whether or not he felt he was treated fairly, Russell learned a lot with the Lakers and discussed the biggest thing that he took away from his time in L.A:
“That was my first stop. I got drafted to LA. All I knew was LA. I didn’t really get to see the ‘other side’ – the East coast and stuff like that. So just being that far away from home helped me realize that things were different, so you got to do things different. It was a heck of an experience for me. It ended the way it ended so I can’t really complain.”
Unfortunately for Russell, despite his talent, it just wasn’t a good fit for him with the Lakers. His move to Brooklyn could allow him to flourish while the Lakers can move in their own direction with Lonzo Ball at the head of the team.
If Russell can take the lessons he learned from his time with the Lakers, he may be able to finally live up to his potential in Brooklyn. All eyes will be on him when he returns to Staples Center on November 3.