D’Angelo Russell’s Teammate Sees Chris Paul in Nets PG

D'Angelo Russell Lakers

Getty Brooklyn Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell

D’Angelo Russell has yet to live up to his selection with the No. 2 overall pick in 2015, but at least one of his teammates sees some of Chris Paul’s tendencies in the Brooklyn Nets point guard.

That’d be Nets wing Joe Harris.

From a GQ profile of Russell that dropped on Thursday:

He’s also doing the important work of getting teammates acclimated on the court as well. Harris says that while he’s flitted in and out of Brooklyn this summer, the one constant was Russell. “D-Lo” as Harris calls him, is always around—in the gym, or at the arena watching film. Harris says he gets bombarded by texts from Russell with clips of game action, breaking down what worked, what didn’t, and what the team should maybe try. “You hear stories about Chris Paul, guys who know what every single one of their teammates like to do, where they like the ball, and then knowing who they’re playing against as well,” says Harris. “I see D-Lo following that role.”

All Russell cares about, he says, is basketball—truly, he swears to God, and in slightly crude terms, counting on his fingers: “Eat, sleep, shit, basketball.”

D’Angelo Russell’s New Role

The Nets traded for Russell a year ago. He averaged 20.9 points and 5.7 assists per game through his first 12 games with his new team before requiring arthroscopic knee surgery. In his second year with the team, the 22-year-old is focused on leading a young Brooklyn team.

“Yeah, I plan on being in Brooklyn for a long time,” he said when asked about his leadership role with the team. “With the guys they bring in that are younger than me, I went through what they’re going through now and definitely can sprinkle what I know and what can help them. That’s the best time to do it: when you’re not on the floor.”

He’s already taken 19-year-old rookie Dzanan Musa under his wing, though Russell might have regretted it when they started playing video games together:

When Dzanan Musa was drafted by the Nets earlier this summer, he flew across the globe—from Bosnia to New York—for his new job. Home was suddenly a new country’s largest metropolis. One day, after working out together, Russell told Musa that he and his brother should come over to his apartment.

The next week, Russell and Musa spent most of the day together playing video games. “NBA 2K, FIFA, everything” Musa says. “I beat him multiple times.” I ask Musa for a story to sum up his new pal and teammate. “He’s a bad trash talker when we play video games but on the court he backs up his words.

Nets Fall to the Pistons

Russell struggled in Brooklyn’s season opener, shooting 3-of-9 from the field for nine points and five assists in a 103-100 defeat to the Detroit Pistons that saw the shorthanded Nets shoot 5-of-27 from deep.

The point guard played 25 minutes as his team turned to Caris LeVert down the stretch; the Nets wing scored 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting to go with four rebounds and four assists.

“We had opportunities,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said after the loss, according to Newsday. “We had open shots that didn’t go down. We just didn’t close it out. I thought we did a lot of positive things today.”

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