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D’Angelo Russell: ‘We’re not trying to become the big brother’ in New York

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

In an interview of FS1 between the Kings and Lakers games, D’Angelo Russell said that while the Nets have had great success this season, neither he nor the Nets want to be seen as the “big brother” in New York, that they’re happy being what they are, “a good group of guys” who’ve been through the NBA blender.

And as for the competition between Nets and Knicks for free agents, DLo suggested that he’d be happy if the Nets “lock in” their current players “for a good period of time.”

Still, Russell said he and his teammates are “very excited, very excited” about the prospects for the playoffs and happy to be rep the city.

“I think it’s great for the organization. I think it’s great for every individual on our team,the coaching staff, the city, the city of New York in general. I think it’s great for that. And for Brooklyn. Brooklyn deserves it.”

Russell added that, “When you’re in a sports city like New York, and you’re the little brother of the city making a lot of noise, I think that’s well deserved and you know people are starting to notice us.”

But when asked if the Nets wanted to be the “big brother,” Russell said the team had other priorities.

“I can honestly, truly say we’re not trying to become the big brother (laughs). We enjoy being in this limelight. You know, we’re getting the success that we got. We did it a different way. We got a good group of guys who’ve sorta been through the blender. and had to work to get to this point. So we realize how to do it together.”

As for the competition for free agents, DLo essentially dismissed it.

“No offense to any free agent that may possibly come. When you’re dealing with free agents, you don’t know what to expect. They always have the choice to control their destiny and where they want to go and when they want to go. We’ve got a lot of guys who we can lock in and be around for a good period of time and do this together.”

In the interview, sponsored by Old Spice —which recently hired Russell, the Nets guard said he had changed a lot about his mental preparation last summer and “trusted in my craft.”

And when asked who the most underrated player on the Nets is, DLo demurred.

“We got the most underrated TEAM.” he said with a laugh.