One of the more surprising moves of the NBA’s offseason was D’Angelo Russell’s being acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Golden State Warriors following the departure of Kevin Durant.
With two other sharpshooters already in the backcourt in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, some have questioned exactly where Russell will fit when Thompson eventually returns from the ACL injury that he suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. However, the fifth-year guard is confident that things will work well.
“I’m excited [to join the Warriors],” Russell said in an interview with Hoops Hype. “I’m beyond excited! They’ve been to five straight Finals and they do nothing but win. That’s something that I’m trying to add to my resume in this league; [I want to] become a winner. I think this is the first step, going to a team of that caliber. I think it’ll work out pretty great too. They have some great coaches and great players to kind of make it all work. I’m ready to get the wheels turning.”
When thinking about how dangerous Golden State could be with him, Curry, and Thompson out on the floor, Russell had an interesting comparison.
“I think it’s like a video game,” Russell said. “You got three guys who can shoot the three at a high clip. I think that’s really exciting for the fans. Threes are obviously worth more than twos at the end of the day, so I think it gives us an opportunity to win. I’m so excited, and I think we’re going to bring a lot of excitement [to the fans].”
Though Russell has grown accustomed to being the focal point of an offense and having the ball in his hands often, he isn’t worried about potentially adapting and making some adjustments to his game.
“The league has changed in so many ways,” Russell said. “There are no point guards anymore, there are no centers anymore; it’s all positionless basketball. I think [we have] a lot of players out there who will just allow [me] to be a basketball player – not having to focus on running the team or being the defensive [anchor] or whatever. There are so many great talents out there that will just allow me to be a basketball player. It’s a situation where I can go in and not worry about being on-the-ball or off-ball or coming off the bench or whatever. I am just being a basketball player. If I have the ball in my hands, I’ll make a play. If don’t, I’ll try to get in position to make a play. I think that’s what it comes down to.”
In addition to making plays on the court, Russell is also excited about the opportunity to learn from some of the great basketball minds that he will be surrounded by within the Warriors organization.
“I think this situation gives me an opportunity to be a sponge,” Russell said. “I can learn a lot from everyone: a Hall of Fame coach – one of the winningest coaches ever – and from three different players who are Hall of Famers. It’s cool, man. This is a Hall of Fame organization that I get to a part of.”
Due to questions about his fit with the franchise, there is already some speculation regarding how long Russell will last with the Warriors. However, with Thompson sidelined to start the season they need him in the short-term, at least, and once the season starts he’ll get an opportunity to show that he can be a very valuable piece for the organization as they move forward and look to reclaim the title.
Courtesy: CBS Sports