Less than two hours before he faced his old team for the first time, Brooklyn Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell admitted Friday that he was irked by comments Lakers team president Magic Johnson made this summer about Russell's leadership, or lack thereof. In June, Johnson explained why the Lakers traded Russell to Brooklyn and drafted Lonzo Ball, saying the team "needed a leader" and someone who also "can make the other players better." "I would say it ruffled a few feathers," Russell said before the Nets fell 124-112 to the Lakers on Friday in their first meeting since the summer trade. "But you control what you can control. He's in a position to say what he wants, so I just try to do what I can do at the end of the day." Russell shot just 8-of-24 from the field and finished with 17 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds. Meanwhile, Ball scored just 6 points on 3-of-15 shooting with 7 assists and 5 rebounds, one day after he was criticized for his "passive" play in a scoreless effort against Portland. Johnson had said on a few occasions that he wanted more leadership from the point guard position. It was a big reason why he said he was thrilled to land Ball with the second overall pick in the NBA draft.
D'Angelo Russell: 'I salute myself' for overcoming Lakers hurdles
ESPN | Nov 4