The NBA Draft is about to take place on Thursday night, and D'Angelo Russell of Ohio State is expected to be a top pick when the event happens. He talked about his draft prospects in various NBA teams at a press conference on Tuesday.
In video obtained by the Gospel Herald, Russell indicated that he was looking forward to Thursday's draft as long as he stayed "anywhere within that range." He was first asked about his prospects in the New York Knicks.
"We talked about my passing and watched a few clips on how I would fit into their training [process]," Russell said.
The video then cut to another question about his health status.
"I was sick, and I rescheduled the workout," Russell said. "I want to in there with my full potential."
Russell was then asked a question related to the possibility of joining the Philadelphia 76ers and fitting into that team.
"They didn't talk about that really, just how I would fit in with the players already there with the athletic bigs and wings running the floor," Russell said of the Sixers. "It would make my job easier just getting the ball to them."
Russell added that he "could fit into any organization," making that emphasis several times during the press conference.
"Philadelphia is a great organization, and I feel like they could use a wing or guard type player," Russell said. "They could play me, and that's exactly what I bring to the table."
The video showed Russell indicating he was "not shaky" in being selected by a team in the NBA Draft.
"I'd play for any team and make the best out of it," Russell quipped. "If it's the so-called 'best' team or so-called 'worst' team, I'm definitely looking forward to whatever position I'm put into."
A member of the press asked Russell about the "triangle offense."
"Kobe [Bryant] had a lot of success," Russell said. "You can name drop all the successful players out there - the [Los Angeles] Lakers, the Miami Heat. Phil Jackson did a great job with the Lakers."
Russell observed that Jackson is in the "rebuilding standpoint with the Knicks."
"If I land it there [at the Knicks], I'm definitely going to be a part of that," Russell quipped.
A local news reporter asked him about the point guard opening at the Knicks as well as the triangle offense the team had to offer.
"I may not know this pass and cut to the corner, but a lot of great players made great names in that system," Russell said. "It's not an excuse to be a [bad] player. If you pass or cut into the corner or whatnot, but if I land there, that would be great."
The reported followed up by asking if Russell would be able to withstand the spotlight of playing in Madison Square Garden.
"I don't know what the future holds, [and] I don't know what is coming my way," Russell said. "All I can do is work hard and try to play the best way I can."
Another reporter asked Russell of the possibility that the Knicks wanted to build "a foundation" around him.
"It's a blessing to be here and in that position," Russell said. "Like I said, they're rebuilding right now, so I'm going to make the best out of it."
One reporter highlighted the NBA veteran status of Bryant and Carmelo Anthony. He asked Russell about his thoughts on working alongside such legendary basketball players.
"It would be an honor," Russell quipped. "I don't know how much Kobe has left in the tank, but it would [still be] an honor. I know that Carmelo is still a young player thirsty for a championship, so [his] desire to keep winning would be great to be alongside [him]."
That same reporter also asked Russell how his time at Ohio State and his relationship with coach Thad Matta prepared him for the rigors of the NBA.
"They prepared me the best way they could on and off the court," Russell quipped. "The relationship I have with coach Matta is unbelievable. He was a coach to a certain standpoint, but he was more like a mentor towards me."
Russell added that Matta "was a man of his word," giving credit to him for making it into the NBA Draft this year.
The TV reporter wondered if Russell had any intimidation while meeting Jackson of the Knicks, who had quite a few rings as proof he won many NBA championships in various teams.
"Not intimidation, but he's hard to read," Russell said of Jackson. "I try to read people before I speak, and he gives you no facial impressions, no laughs, no giggles, none of that. He's a hard guy to read."
Russell added that Jackson earned his nickname "the Zen master" noting that he was such "a genius."
In the final question on video, a reporter off-camera asked Russell what he thought about his meeting with Sixers coach Brett Brown.
"Brett Brown was a great coach. He's a players' coach just from hearing about him," Russell said, adding that his friend expressed similar sentiments. "When I was in a meeting with him, we had a great vibe. He wasn't giving me trick questions or expecting trick answers. He seems like a great coach to play for."