Brooklyn Nets Morning Dish: D’Angelo Russell, trendsetter

(Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
(Photo by Gotham/GC Images) /

D’Angelo Russell leads the Brooklyn Nets Morning Dish after gracing the pages of GQ and describing himself as a “trendsetter.”

We like to think of ourselves as trendsetters here at the Brooklyn Nets Morning Dish, so when guard D’Angelo Russell described himself in a similar matter in a recent interview with GQ, you bet we noticed.

Russell dealt with some extraordinarily bad press as a rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers and is still battling the perception he’s a bad guy and — worse — a bad teammate.

He told Cam Wolf for the piece in GQ that he’s not interested in reversing his reputation, even as he’s taken some steps to get his own message out there.

That included a documentary piece in conjunction with New Era Cap this offseason that was part of the company’s buildup to the NBA Draft.

Russell’s stock answer for the mistakes from his early NBA days and the perception generated by that has been to brush it off. But his current teammates don’t see a guy who has problems with maturity.

"“He cares about all of us, he’s a great guy,” rookie Dzanan Musa said in the piece.“[Russell] is a great guy,” added Joe Harris. “People don’t realize how committed he is and how badly he wants to win.”"

It is a deeper look into Russell than we usually see on the sports pages, to be sure.

Looking at the infirmary

In a follow-up piece on the opening night loss to the Detroit Pistons, Brian Lewis of the New York Post discusses the Nets’ already-lengthy injury list and the impact those absences had on the opener.

The Nets were without three guys who were regular starters for either all or most of last season. And as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Allen Crabbe and DeMarre Carroll were unavailable, the Nets couldn’t quite fill the holes.

Crabbe and Carroll certainly could have helped with Brooklyn’s dismal 5-for-27 night from 3-point range, a point coach Kenny Atkinson conceded.

"“You miss those guys, no doubt about it.”"

Atkinson opted to spread the offense out, going small with Joe Harris and Jared Dudley at the forward spots — essentially a three-guard lineup with D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert also starting with center Jarrett Allen.

Even the paper of record noticed

The New York Times devoted some space to the Friday matchup between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center, looking at the rivalry of the rebuilds.

Basketball decisions

Greg Logan of Newsday probed a bit into the decision by Atkinson to bench Russell down the stretch Wednesday night in Detroit.

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Russell took it like a pro and Atkinson’s reasoning was valid. Bottom line: No controversy to see here.