Magic Johnson blasts Russell after trade, Russell responds

magic-johnson-sadThe LA Lakers are now on a rebuilding path. They hired Magic Johnson as a president of basketball operations. They drafted Lonzo Ball.

And they also got rid of D’Angelo Russell, and judging by Johnson’s comments, it wasn’t pretty.

The Lakers traded Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick.

Meanwhile, Johnson, at a news conference, openly explained why Russell was traded in the first place, the Washington Post reported.

“D’Angelo is an excellent player. He has the talent to be an All-Star. We want to thank him for what he did for us. But what I needed was a leader. I needed somebody also that can make the other players better and also [somebody] that players want to play with,” said Johnson.

Russell doesn’t seem to be bothered by Johnson’s comments.

Russell, 21, has certainly heard the knock on his maturity since being drafted second overall out of Ohio State in 2015. But Russell said he plans on being a leader for the young, rebuilding Nets, according to ESPN.

“I wasn’t upset to leave Los Angeles,” Russell said. “I feel like wherever I go, I will make it home. … I know what I am capable of. And I know that I wasn’t — with me not being as experienced as I want to be — perceived as or whatnot. … I am not really worried about that. I am tired of talking about what I do or what I am going to do. I think I have showed it. I want to get in right away and let my actions speak.”

Russell averaged 14.3 points, 4.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds in his two seasons in Los Angeles.


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