The Brooklyn Nets held a press conference introducing new players D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the media.
The Nets began the press conference thanking former franchise player Brook Lopez for all his efforts and contributions as a member of the franchise.
Head coach Kenny Atkinson made note that he’s ready to get to work with the new guys.
“I’m excited to coach these guys, there’s a lot of talent.”
Timofey Mozgov, former NBA champion, was received via trade as well. His salary dump for Los Angeles was the primary motive behind the trade. In Brooklyn, he feels welcomed already and is excited about the opportunity.
“I love it. It’s like a big family to me. Only two days here, and I love it already.”
Earlier this week Magic Johnson was vocal on the recent trade, claiming Russell wasn’t “the leader” he was looking for. When asked about the comments, he didn’t seem too concerned.
“I can’t control that, what they say, I’m gone, it’s the past, I’m here now. it’s irrelevant honestly.”
ESPN published an article going further into Russell’s comment here.
On his first impression with the organization, Russell says everyone’s focused on moving forward, and winning, more importantly.
“Everybody’s on the same page. You can tell everyone’s hungry around here, and really want to get back to where they want to be.”
RELATED: Nets and Lakers Trade Details
Fueled by the controversy behind his trade, Russell has already been seen putting work in the Nets training facility.
D'Angelo Russell getting shots up in Brooklyn late last night…
(via cbrickley603 / IG) pic.twitter.com/2IifP6wVRI
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) June 26, 2017
On Mozgov’s fit with the Nets’ play style, head coach Kenny Atkinson is sure he’s going to work:
“Yeah, Timmy fits perfectly. He’s a competitor. He’s a guy that loves to run the court and he’s a physical player…he fits the culture we’re trying to build.”
In regards to having a Finals experienced player on the floor, Atkinson was very confident about what that brings to the Nets:
“I was picking his brain the other day, asking what the leadership is like on the other team.”
The Brooklyn Nets had the league’s worst record last season. When asked about the opportunity to play here in a rebuilding young core, Russell remained positive:
“I think the sky is the limit for the opportunity, we got a lot of great guys here. the coaches are just as hungry as the players, everybody really wants to win. That’s the main focus.”
When asked about his motivation to prove people wrong, Russell quickly denied making that a goal:
“Me proving anybody wrong, is not my focus. That’s another thing not really relevant to me. When I found out this trade happened, I didn’t look at as a negative, but a celebration.”
D’Angelo arrived in Brooklyn Sunday for the Big 3 tournament at Barclay Center and was seen alongside his new teammates. A good sign for the Brooklyn Nets, after Russell, dealt with locker room conflict in Los Angeles.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) June 26, 2017
Yes, he was booed, but most fans are overlooking the diverse audience in Brooklyn for the Big 3 tournament. No doubt that Nets fans will welcome this young talent.
Finally, when asked about his first conversation with Russell, general manager Sean Marks was more than impressed:
“He was very appreciative, very excited. First thing he said was ‘Can I come up there tonight?’ “
and on his overall attitude:
“Let’s be honest, I think we all play with a chip on our shoulder, and he has one.”
The Brooklyn Nets will get to work soon enough incorporating the new guys into the system. First things first, free agency is in five days, expect to see more new faces in black and white.