The Nets can use so many combinations in backcourt next season and on Thursday, SLAM magazine’s Respect the Game podcast brought one of those combinations to their New York offices. D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie took turns answering questions from Pete Walsh, aka “Lamborghini Pete.”
There wasn’t a lot of news, but the two had a lot of fun talking up the Nets and NBA.
Both are now in Brooklyn. Dinwiddie described his summer as “working out, and going where the Nets tell me to go: working out, going to Vegas, back in Brooklyn, time off in L.A. to see family. Other than that, working out.”
“For me summer was a little different,” said Russell. “Getting traded, getting acclimated in New York. Everything's been like a whirlwind but like I said, everyone's been open arms from Day 1, which makes it that much more exciting.”
The two of them did take time to praise Kenny Atkinson and the Nets organization in general.
“I thought it was impressive for coach to go coach summer league like that,” said Russell. “Our communication's been great from day one, just from the whole staff. Everybody's been open arms for me. Kenny being the head caoch and the communications that we've had has been great too.”
Dinwiddie was, if anything, even more positive.
“Been around him for a little less than a year. You see how how knowledgeable he is about the game, how passionate he is about the game and how good of a leader and manager of people he is,” said the third year pro. “It's always a pleasure to be around the Nets organization. They're all nice people. It makes it a fun working experience.”
Walsh didn’t ask them about Jeremy Lin’s playoff prediction, but both admitted the Nets players see the team as underrated ... and want to succeed.
“Being counted out gives you a common bond. The adversity just makes you stronger. Everything you go through continues to mold you and shape you as a man,” said Dinwiddie.
“Getting the opportunity to get out there on the floor with four new faces you're going to playing alongside of is obviously a good opportunity to start over and do all of that, but I'm just looking forward to just playing,” Russell told Walsh, declining to talk about his experience in L.A.
Russell also didn’t want to get into who might start among the Nets large contingent of guards and wings.
“We got a lot of guys,” said Russell. “I think practices and stuff are going to be a lot more competitive. So I'm looking forward to that. A lot of people are going to be a position to earn what you want. It's up for grabs.”
In one exchange, Russell admitted that he was unaware of Atkinson’s role in LinSanity, how as a Knicks development assistant, Atkinson pushed Lin hard, then lobbied for minutes.
"Oh, he was there for that? I didn't know that!” Russell said.
Dinwiddie then educated D-Lo. “He's like a development guru. It's like his thing.”
“I didn’t know that,” Russell responded.
One of the funnier moments came when the two talked about their “bags,” that is their skillsets. Dinwiddie pushed Russell to describe his “bag.”
“I've never heard anyone explain their bag,” said Russell. “So this is my first take at it. I told him my bag was 'one of one," expensive, and I'm sayin’, there's a lot of tools in there. So when it comes to the one-on-ones, I just have fun with that. Whatever it is, whatever it is.”
“My bag?,” Dinwiddie picked up. “I must stay true to my colors, say true to myself. So really, remember those old cartoons, right, like Wily Coyote, he'd have those little black things he'd throw on the ground.
“So I have one of those little black bags that says 'Acme' on it. I reach in there and it just don't stop. you pull out one gun, you pull out a grenade. So whatever you need, you go into the bag. It is outrageously versatile, it is limitless. It is not necessarily expensive. It will show up in Lulu Lemon while you're in Louis Vuitton BUT (getting closer to the mic) the bag has yet to fail. It does not lose.”
Later, Dinwiddie described his vocabulary as “an expansive bag man. it's just like my game. It's the word play why people love me.”
The two talked seriously about dealing with the media and social media.
Russell, who’s had his share of controversy, said “Whatever questions you get, paint your own picture. When I go to an interview, I answer the way I want to answer. It can be completely off topic.”
On social media, Dinwiddie said, “I try to give it to people the way they can digest it. For sure. I think they get a better picture of who I am. the way my mind works to an extent obviously. Social media is still so very impersonal. the purpose is to humanize everybody. Let them see who I am a little bit.”
At the end, Dinwiddie lobbied Walsh for a cover story “maybe in November.” Walsh suggested that maybe the two of them would make for a nice cover. Then, the two noted that other Nets might deserve a piece of the cover.
“Gonna be a big cover,” laughed Dinwiddie. “We got like 12 guards.”
The two spoke as well as about who surprised them in Summer League —Kyle Kuzma and Caris LeVert; what a great teammate Rajon Rondo is; and what they plan for the rest of the summer ... “grind.”