Today’s Brooklyn Nets News features D’Angelo Russell prepping for the team’s preseason opener.
The Brooklyn Nets will showcase their new franchise cornerstone later today, in their preseason opener Tuesday night.
In an interview with Brian Lewis of the New York Post, Russell says the preseason opener is a big opportunity to leave his mark.
“The first preseason game is an opportunity for me to lay my stamp on what I’ve been working on. … But more importantly with the team I want to establish my role right away — whatever it is — just be aggressive and make things happen, so guys know they can look to me and know they’re going to get that from me.”
This is great news for Nets fans, who have sat through years of rooting for one of the worst teams in the league. Russell’s arrival initiates a new era for Brooklyn basketball, in which he will hopefully take a big part.
Head coach Kenny Atkinson told Lewis he likes what he’s seen from Russell so far.
“He did a really good job in camp, offensively, he fits into the style of play. I’ve been really impressed with the pace he’s been playing with at the offensive end. That’s been good. And his defense, especially on the ball, has been pretty good.”
On what he can improve, Russell says it’s consistency that he’s lacking.
“Just be more consistent, I feel like I can score the ball when I want, I can play-make and create when I want, just having a balance of doing that … at the right time. Limiting my turnovers, of course. Me being in this system gives me a better opportunity to make that happen. So it’s really up to me to go out there and show it.”
At his age, the former Lakers’ guard has growing pains as all did before him. Consistency is a big part of that.
Remaining focused will be the key for Russell as he enters a defining year for his career.
“Being young in the league, you can be locked in for a few seconds then easily get distracted and get back cut or something like that when there’s two seconds on the shot clock. Stuff like that develops the tendencies of not letting that happen.”
The hype for the Brooklyn Nets is real, and while most of his teammates have been vocal, Russell prefers to say it all on the court.
“(We’ll show we’re) a better team than last year. Hopefully we’ll have more wins. I don’t really want to talk about it honestly, I just want to go show we can play, I don’t want to say something (and have) it come back to bite me. I’ve learned that throughout the years. I just want to go show with my actions.”
The Brooklyn Nets will open the preseason against the New York Knicks Tuesday evening at 7:30 PM EST. Allen Crabbe and Caris LeVert are officially out, after suffering ankle sprains in training camp last week.