Russell views Nets as needed fresh start

Former Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell has become the new face of the Nets. (AP Photo)

Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell admittedly has had a rocky start to his pro career.

While he showed flashes during his first two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, he also cast some doubts. Russell wasn’t always known as a team-first guy or a guy who could defend.

So the Lakers decided to start over with higher-profile guard Lonzo Ball, shipping Russell and center Timofey Mozgov to the Nets for Brook Lopez and the No. 27 draft pick.

But Russell says the past is the past, and the Nets offer a new beginning.

“Getting traded, you realize everything is a business,” Russell told Brooklyn reporters (via the New York Post). “It’s a fresh start for me and I’m going to try to take advantage of that.

“As of now, I’m in a new situation, and I’ve got to earn that trust and relationships with guys. So I’m going to go out of my way to make that happen.”

The Nets have been rebuilt a little, but aren’t expected to win much again. Along with Russell and Mozgov, other key additions include shooting guard Allen Crabbe and small forward DeMarre Carroll.

Not a terrible group for Nets coach Kenny Atkinson by any stretch. But how far the Nets go will likely be the direct result of how well Russell handles being The Man.

“I want this to be home for me,” Russell said. “Getting traded and moving, changing your whole environment and situation is not easy. So I don’t want to do that again.”