Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell
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Caris LeVert gave partial credit to former teammate D’Angelo Russell for the Brooklyn Nets’ fantastic summer.

There’s an alternate universe in which the loyal fans at the Barclays Center enjoy the privilege of cheering for Caris LeVert and D’Angelo Russell for years on end as centerpieces to an exciting future.

It’s a world I visit frequently, sometimes shedding a tear as I enjoy my speculative travels. If I daydream too much, I find myself drolling in my sleep as I laud over the Brooklyn Nets‘ former backcourt…

It appears that I’m not the only one with D’Angelo Russell on the brain. During his recent sitdown with The Athletic’s Michael Lee, Caris LeVert commented on his former teammates’ fantastic 2018-19 season.

“D’Angelo deserved that, absolutely. Without him, we probably don’t make the playoffs,” LeVert said. “We won’t be a sixth seed, we may not get the guys that we got. So, he’s a huge part of this organization, who we are today.”

For those of you who needed a reminder, D’Angelo Russell had himself a monster fourth season, dropping 21.1 points, 7.0 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals. As a first-time All-Star, D-Lo proved to the world that he was ready to take the next step toward stardom.

In discussing Russell, LeVert made an excellent point. Without Russell’s monster season, in which he detonated against multiple Eastern Conference foes with game-winners and dagger threes aplenty, there’s a good chance the Nets miss the playoffs. And yes, without those playoff bragging rights, Brooklyn’s summer may not have gone as splendidly as it did.

In a way, D’Angelo Russell paved the way for Caris LeVert to land on an All-Star team in the very near future. With so much star power on the roster, more eyes will be focused on the “understudy” team in Brooklyn. Caris LeVert plans to take advantage of that exposure with hopes of landing on February’s honor roll team.

“That’s definitely something that I want to be. But I feel that’s just one of the things. That’s not the end all, be all. I feel like I want to do a lot more with the game. I don’t like to put limits on it. That’s a milestone but it’s not all I want to do.”

If there’s one thing we’ve learned so far, it’s unwise to bet against guys like Caris LeVert and D’Angelo Russell. Here’s to many, many All-Star seasons ahead for the chummy former teammates.

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