D'Angelo Russell Says Magic Johnson's Criticism of Lakers Tenure Is 'Irrelevant'

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2017

Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell (1) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 13, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Magic Johnson didn't think D'Angelo Russell had what it takes to be a leader, but the newest Brooklyn Nets guard is ready to move past that in his fresh start.

"It is good to be here," Russell told reporters Monday when asked about the comments from the Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations.

"Can't really control that, what they say, I'm gone. So it's the past. I am here now. It's irrelevant, honestly."

The Lakers sent Russell and Timofey Mozgov to Brooklyn in exchange for Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick before drafting his point guard replacement in Lonzo Ball.

While explaining Friday why he made the move, Johnson had some harsh criticism for the former No. 2 overall pick.

"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."

Russell averaged 15.6 points per game this past season, his second in the league, but only averaged 4.8 assists to go with 2.8 turnovers. While his assists led the team, it's not quite what you expect from a top point guard.

He will now try for a fresh start with a team that had the worst record in the NBA last season.