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D’Angelo Russell: ‘I knew I wasn’t going back to Brooklyn’

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Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

In an interview with Justin Termine of SiriusXM Radio, D’Angelo Russell said he knew early on that he wasn’t going back to Brooklyn, that he sensed a change in attitude towards him.

Here’s the interview, thanks to his biggest fan...

DLo said he couldn’t put a date on when he realized the Nets were moving on to Kyrie Irving ... and Kevin Durant but he didn’t have any doubt what was happening.

“I never knew exactly. I just kinda ... you work with these guys every day. You see the same players, you see the same coaches, you see the same trainers every day. So when they start to act a little different, you recognize it. You know that. I could feel it.

“So I just played the professional route, came in got my work in every day and just control what I could control.”

Russell of course led the Nets to their first playoff berth in four years ... and became both an All-Star and a fan favorite in the process.

In fact, Russell’s fate was sealed ... as early as April when the Nets got the sense that Irving and later Durant were distinct possibilities. His marijuana bust in May also hurt him. The fine may be less than what you’ll get for texting while driving, but people in the organization saw it as another sign of his immaturity.

Russell said as well that the sign-and-trade was a bit of a surprise but that he’s happy he wound up with Golden State.

He recounted the sequence of events.

“So I heard all these teams mentioning me or not mentioning me, but putting me on their radar. So it was up to me to kinda make a decision on where I wanted to go. I knew I wasn’t going back to Brooklyn.

“So we were kinda waiting for KD to make his move and then this came upon, as far as ‘I might go to Golden State.’

Russell said he was initially confused but grew comfortable with the process.

“How does that work? I’m going to go through free agency? I’m going to go take a meeting. And they were like It basically, it could possibly be a sign-and-trade and we kinda spoke that into fruition.

“And it was a sign-and-trade exactly. Like KD go to Brooklyn. I come here and all the pieces to the puzzle are right there.”

In the end it was Russell, Shabazz Napier, Treveon Graham and cash for Durant and a top-20 protected pick in this year’s Draft.

How’s DLo doing? In three games, he’s averaging 16.7 points and 6.0 assists after a 24/6/7 line in Monday’s win over the Pelicans.

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