D'Angelo Russell's young career hit a major detour when the Los Angeles Lakers traded the former No. 2 pick to the Brooklyn Nets in the days leading into the NBA Draft.
Russell has a new home on the opposite end of the United States now, and has the hopes of a franchise riding on his shoulders once again. The Nets, lacking young high-potential talent after trading away numerous draft picks in years past, landed an elite prospect.
D'Angelo and Los Angeles fans had a strained relationship, with Lakers fans wanting and expecting more from a player deemed the face of the franchise in a post-Kobe Bryant world. Both sides have now moved on, and Russell's off to a great start with fans in New York.
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Russell made his debut on the New York City playground basketball scene, playing at the legendary Dyckman Park, joining up with fellow Nets players Isaiah Whitehead and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in a playoff game during Dyckman Basketball's summer league.
D'Angelo dropped 20 points, but what matters is the final three he tacked onto his total. With the game on the line in overtime, tied up at 77, Russell found himself with the ball in his hands against a ticking clock. With just over one second left, it was time to remind everyone he still has ice in his veins.
That's one incredible way to introduce yourself to one of the most voracious groups of basketball fans in the world. New York's basketball scene is that of legends, and draining a game-winner the very first time you step into that culture is about as good as it gets.
The shot was a fine shot, but what really puts this moment over the top is the crowd swarming D'Angelo after he splashes a three in his defender's face. That's what a love for the game of basketball looks like.
Some of the alternate angles are amazing to watch. If you look closely, you can even see D'Angelo's trademark "ice in my veins" celebration:
Russell may no longer be a Laker, but he didn't leave the ice in his veins in Los Angeles. He's still an incredibly talented young guard who's ability to score stands as his most tangible talent. That moment looks like what the Nets are surely hoping is the beginning of a beautiful relationship between New York and their new franchise player.News Now - Sport News