LONG ISLAND, N.Y. – The Long Island Nets made a bold draft-day trade for point guard, Shannon Scott. Although he’s in the G-League, he’s not without friends in high places.
Scott played alongside D’Angelo Russell at Ohio State during his senior year while Russell was a freshman. The two only played together for one year but fell in the second round of the NCAA tournament getting upset by Arizona ... and their defensive gem, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Scott spoke to NetsDaily about some of his early memories he has of Russell, who while not a teammate is close enough.
“Oh man,” said Scott, laughing. “I just remember him coming out on his visit, being this little skinny kid looking lost all the time.
“Then his first day on campus, he wanted to be a grown man but he was still kind of small so he got bullied a bit.“
That didn’t last long.
“He picked it up real quick and showed what he was made of early in camp. He showed he was ready for everything and anything,” said Scott. “He grew up quickly in college and I think that shows what his maturation has been in the league.”
Russell, a five-star recruit, may have looked small and skinny but he played with confidence. Scott recalls the first moment he knew ‘D-Lo’ would be something special.
“I knew [he was special] when we went on a little trip to the Bahamas for our offseason college games. We saw him play out there, and a lot of freshman seem scared when they first get on the team. But he wasn’t like that.
“He actually controlled the seniors and everybody on the court. You could tell right then and there that he was special and had a great sense of the game.”
Russell was 18-years-old at the time, Scott 21. Scott smiled throughout the interview, explaining how D’Angelo was always a fun character to be around.
“I think everybody clearly knows how good of a player he is. So, I don’t even need to get into that. Off the court, he’s a real cool guy and real laid back. He always wants to do stuff like activities and all that stuff, but he’s a real good guy.“
Have they had a chance to renew old acquaintances? They have seen each other a few times and, says Scott, their whole team is still close.
“I talk to him a lot. I’ve seen him a couple of times since I’ve been here, so overall just a real cool dude.”
Scott, whose father is North Carolina legend and former NBA player Charlie Scott, has been a bit of a basketball vagabond.
After going undrafted in 2015, the 6’3” Scott joined the Raptors 905 D-League club, where he averaged 9.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists for the 905.
He played last season in the Greek League but the Raptors held on to his G-League rights. The Nets traded thier rights to a Canadian draft pick on Draft Day and everyone came away happy.
Scott and Russell still take great pride in their Ohio State roots.
When Olivier Sedra, Brooklyn PA Announcer, introduces Russell, he intones, “From THE Ohio State University.”
When asked about it, Russell lit up with a big smile. “That’s how it’s done. Every time that’s how you do it. If you say it any other way they correct you, so that’s how it’s done.”
Have to wonder who corrected him.