D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie deny beef before Nets Reunion


D’Angelo Russell is said to no longer have followed Spencer Dinwiddie on Instagram last summer, shortly after it became known that Dinwiddie had served as an influential recruiter for free agent superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Nevertheless, the former Nets teammates rejected all proposals for a conflict before Wednesday's reunion in Brooklyn.

Exclusion of a trade before 7:30 p.m. Note: Blockbuster Russell will return to the Barclays Center with the Warriors for the first time since he was traded to Golden State under Nets' Durant and Irving blockbuster contracts in July.

Russell, who is still following some of his former Nets teammates on the social media website, called Dinwiddie "my guy" and said his former comrade in the back seat "should have been an all-star this year. "

Dinwiddie also seemed amused when asked about Russell's decision to stop tracking his Instagram account. He said, "I can ask him about it if you want. This is the first time I've heard of it. I'm pretty sure I'm still following him, so I'm solid. He's a phenomenal player, one great teammate and last year was very special. "

Russell, the runner-up in the Lakers' draft for 2015, became all-star with the Nets for the first time last season under trainer Kenny Atkinson. He averaged 21.1 points and a career best of 7.1 points in over 81 games, helping the Nets set a 42:40 record and their first playoff spot since 2014/15.

D & # 39; Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie
D’Angelo Russell and Spencer DinwiddieAP (2)

The 23-year-old Point Guard was contracted for Durant and was awarded a four-year contract and $ 117 million at Golden State. Russell has hit a career high of 23.8 points for the injured Warriors on average, but was again the subject of rumors before the NBA closed on Thursday.

"I obviously got very close to him. From my point of view, I really had a great affection for him, ”said Atkinson. "I am glad that he got the wonderful contract. I am glad that he is with [Warriors coach] Steve Kerr, whom I respect very much. I think that's great. I'm just a big fan. … I can't wait to see him and say hello.

"He was a big part of it here. His involvement in how he made the story or changed the story about him, and he helped us change our story, was a big part of it. As I said, I am glad that he was rewarded with the contract. With a great organization like Golden State and a great coach, it worked for both of us. We both felt that it was a win-win situation. "

Dinwiddie admitted that he and Russell "were never like best friends or anything," but he believes that his former teammate at the Barclays Center will be well received and the Nets will broadcast a video homage before or during the game. Russell had suffered a quadruple injury from Golden State's last game in Washington on Monday night, but Kerr told reporters Tuesday he was expecting him to line up against the nets.

"I think it will be very positive," said Dinwiddie. "Since it's a business, it obviously isn't as if he spurned us or anything. He was instrumental in getting us into the playoffs, our team led, led our group along with the vets. [He] was obviously an all-star selection. What was that, 21 points per game?

"Without making this progress and making these changes, reaching the playoffs and showing the skills of the young group, we are not in the position we are in now."