D’Angelo Russell isn't sure what kind of audience reaction he'll get on Wednesday night when he returns to the Barclays Center to play against a team that helped him become an all-star last season.
"New York fans can be brutal and loving at the same time," said Russell on Tuesday after his Warriors had trained at Chelsea Piers. "No matter how you choose to react, I don't care. I'm just looking forward to being in this atmosphere and playing."
There is no reason to believe that the response is anything but positive. Brooklyn has a chance to thank Russell for helping the Nets in last season's playoffs. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have enough respect to sign free agent contracts with the club.
Irving's arrival meant that Russell was out of space. In the end, he was part of a trade deal with the warriors and was awarded a four-year contract worth $ 117 million. Good for the networks. Good for Russell.
He says he has nothing but "love" for his former team. He still has a place in Brooklyn and keeps in touch with former teammates Joe Harris and Caris LeVert. He also attributes to Nets coach Kenny Atkinson for increasing his game, saying that rumors of a feud with Spencer Dinwiddie about advertising Irving are wrong. His two years in the network will always be something special.
"I was someone trying to pave my way into this league and get people in the league to respect me and see what I would bring to the table every day," said Russell. “Coach Kenny gave me a great opportunity to be me and be great at the same time and to put people around me who could complement that. It was an individual success and a team success. "
He returns to Brooklyn to focus on a few trade rumors that are only a blessing. Russell only got better in the Golden State, averaging 23.9 points and 6.3 assists per game.
The Timberwolves, 76ers and Knicks are said to be interested in acquiring his talents. There are other clues that the warriors want to keep for the rest of the season so that he can play with curry when he returns in March.
Russell remains calm as Thursday's trading deadline approaches.
"I feel good when I feel uncomfortable," he said. “This time in my career, many teams want a point guard. I bounce around. Why don't you get me into these talks and try to get me? "
The cost is likely too high for the Knicks that have been at stake in the past three years and $ 90 million for his deal and the draft picks they would have to give up. It's still a tempting move because Russell is only 23 and would solve the Knicks' problems and relieve RJ Barrett.
Russell doesn't seem to mind the uncertainty of the process.
"I understand the business side of what's going on," he said. "It's nothing new. I can't lie and say I don't see it. I see it obviously. I have to answer questions and see them on social networks. I turn on the TV and hear about it. So that's what it is. "
He jokes that his five years in the league feel like 10. He went second to the Lakers in 2015 and never really blossomed in his two years in Los Angeles. But he improved his game during his two years in Brooklyn. Now he's with the injured Warriors who defeat the Cavaliers and Wizards 12-39 in a row.
"It's been a crazy career so far," he said. "I don't know what the next 10 years will be like for me. But I'm enjoying it. I'm where my feet are. I'm right here. It is impossible to predict where I will be next. Wherever I go , my feet will be there and I will just hug it and make the best of it. "
His feet will be back at the Barclays Center on Wednesday night.