If you were looking for Brooklyn Nets restricted free agent, D’Angelo Russell to share anything about hs future NBA free agency plans, today was not the day.
But do take note: Russell did let folks how he feels about the NYC, the city that never sleeps.
“I love this city,” said Russell this afternoon in between entertaining campers at his ProCamps basketball camp at MetroPlex in Metuchen, New Jersey.
“It’s fun its fun. You know, it’s a city that loves basketball, there’s a court on every corner, maybe two.”
NBA free agency begins at 6 PM ET next Sunday June 30. With rumors swirling about West Orange, New Jersey native, Kyrie Irving potentially signing with the Nets.
Irving grew up liking the then-New Jersey Nets when they ran the NBA’s Eastern Conference during the days of Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson.
Irving was a fan of Kidd.
“Watching him play was a pleasure,” Irving told me of Kidd when he was hired as head coach of Brooklyn back in 2013.
“His IQ. Just watching the way he plays the game. Not many people have that niche and that feel for the game.”
Meanwhile back at the ranch:D’Angelo Russell helped guide the Brooklyn Nets to a 42-40, 6th place finish in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
Russell had a magnetic All Star season, this year with season averages of 21.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 7 assists; career bests.
Worth noting: Russell has been nominated for the NBA’s Most Improved Player of the Year Award.
The winner of that award will be announced at tomorrow night’s NBA Awards in Santa Monica, California.
Russell was peppered with a myriad of questions about his camp, his childhood experiences of attending basketball camps and more.
“Honestly I wasn’t the guy,” said Russell when asked what his fondest camp memories were in his childhood.
“I was more, if the camp was going on, I was that shy guy that wasn’t really asking the questions or doing any of that. I was just trying to play. I was chasing the top guys”
Russell professed his love for the city of New York and his observations of it. “It’s a city that loves basketball,” he said.
Russell didn’t speak a word about the growing rumors that he and the Los Angeles Lakers having mutual interest.
If you’re tardy to the party: former Los Angeles Lakers team President, Magic Johnson traded Russell in June of 2017 along with Timofey Mozgov to create salary cap room and acquire a draft pick that became Kyle Kuzma.
Johnson also made the trade to make way for Lonzo Ball, who is also no longer with the Lakers.
The restricted free agent also did not speak about the belief by some that he could join friend, Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Nope. Today was about the kids. Russell played one on one with the Pro Camps campers in Metuchen, NJ.
Russell even had a dunk.
“Man I ain’t never had hops to be honest with you,” said Russell. “I was always the lay it up type guy, trying to smack backboards.”
While he may have a love for NYC hoops, he also let the media scrum in attendance that his days of playing pickup games in city parks may have come to an end.
“I’m done playing pickup man,” he said. “It’s not safe, it’s not safe.”