Whatever legacy Sean Marks builds in Brooklyn, it will start with his trade of the team’s marquee player, Brook Lopez, for a young, controversial, but very talented point guard, D’Angelo Russell.
It was a bet-the-ranch move and despite knee surgery that cost Russell 33 games, the Nets seem very happy with DLo, and more importantly, his potential. Now, for the second time in three weeks, Russell has rewarded Marks and the organization by saying he wants to stay in Brooklyn ... for the rest of his career.
“I plan on being here for life,” was the operative phrase in his interview with Brian Lewis of the Post. It comes three weeks after DLo told Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated that “I want to build my legacy here,” speaking of Brooklyn.
Russell still has another year on his rookie contract (at $7 million), but he told Lewis he likes Brooklyn and intends to stay.
“It’s real wavy. You go from starting to not starting, to playing to not playing. [But] all around, it was great,” said Russell of his first year, adding that he likes where the organization is headed. “We’re going in the right direction. I could feel the growth, I see the growth. Everybody is two feet in with everything.”
Russell spoke as well about how he’s improved with the Nets after his star-crossed two years (and two coaches) with the Lakers. Magic Johnson called him for being immature and he contrasted that with how he’s been treated in Brooklyn.
“Getting better every year, gaining that trust, taking ownership of what’s being offered,” Russell said. “Everybody’s saying this is your role: Being able to take what comes with that. If you’re the leader of the team, the franchise player or the sixth man, whatever it may be, just taking ownership of it … don’t get complacent.”
He also offered a look at what he thinks his future can be.
“Every year in the league you want you get better. You look, reflect, debrief on what you need to work on and get better. That’s always the objective. I know I’m capable of flirting with a triple-double every night. It’s all about opportunities, system. The more I’m in the gym, the more I learn the system, it’ll all come out.”
That is the Nets’ hope and why they made that high risk ... and high reward... move.
- Nets’ building block plans to be with the team for life - Brian Lewis - New York Post