Nearly two years after trading former No. 2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets, former Los Angeles Lakers exec Magic Johnson admits why he made the deal.
In his most recent tell-all with Stephen A. Smith, Johnson said that after Russell infamously recorded teammate Young talking about cheating on his then-fiancee Iggy Azalea:
“I knew we had to get him out.”
When the situation hit social media, the Lakers became more of a TMZ headline than basketball club. Following the fiasco in L.A., Magic took over and shipped Russell, along with Timofey Mozgov, off to Brooklyn.
In the 2018-19 season, Russell proved that the Nets won the trade by earning his first All-Star Game appearance, while Magic Johnson left the Lakers in a massive mess.
Johnson went on to admit that he was in love with Lonzo Ball‘s potential and saw too many character issues for Russell to thrive in the league.
Looking back on that decision, it is one that has haunted the Lakers in recent years and proven to be Sean Marks greatest move since taking over as general manager of the Nets.
With one All-Star running the point in Brooklyn, if the Nets could add another in Kyrie Irving, we could have a dangerous backcourt in Brooklyn.
Between Johnson admitting fault in the Russell trade, the Knicks continuing to be a mess and the drama among various NBA superstars; the Nets have proven that fostering talent in house is the way to go.
We have said it time and time again; the Nets are building a Gregg Popovich culture in Brooklyn, and while they just seeing the pay off, the best is yet to come.