D’Angelo Russell claims first day of practice with Warriors had a ‘first day of school vibe’
The Golden State Warriors will feature a very different-looking backcourt for the first time in nearly a decade. With two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry at point guard and All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson recovering from an ACL tear, the Warriors will likely start one-time All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell at the 2.
The Warriors acquired the 23-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers second overall pick from the 2015 draft in the Kevin Durant sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets. While initially reports indicated Golden State could have flipped Russell again for future assets, team president Bob Myers instead opted to keep the young talent, essentially as compensation for Durant’s departure and to keep the Warriors competitive during Thompson’s elongated absence.
For Russell, though, his first day at the Bay Area franchise’s training camp felt like “definitely a first day of school vibe,” per ESPN’s Nick Friedell on Twitter.
Russell sounds pleased with the way his first day of Warriors practice went. Said there was a lot of energy from everybody on the floor. “Definitely a first day of school vibe.”
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) October 1, 2019
The Warriors had a busy summer due to Durant joining one-time NBA champion Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn with the new-look Nets and counteracting Thompson’s ACL injury, which he sustained in the decisive Game 6 of the 2019 Finals against the Toronto Raptors. The Warriors had to say goodbye to veterans and three-time champions Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, breaking up part of the core members who went to five consecutive Finals.
With Russell on board, though, Golden State hopes to still have a fast-paced team instead of easing into a rebuilding moment for the franchise when Durant went down and Thompson got hurt. Russell is back in the Western Conference since 2017.