D’Angelo Russell is starting to adjust to life on the East Coast after being traded to the Nets by the Lakers this offseason. But a move made by his former college team has also been on his mind lately, and it sounds like the point guard still isn’t over Thad Matta’s dismissal at Ohio State.
“It hurt me, it hurt me a lot. I didn’t really get to go back to Ohio State as much as I could because of just being so far away and my schedule. But, them firing him or whatever you want to call it, I don’t think I’ll ever go back now,” Russell said Wednesday in an ESPN podcast interview. “It messed me up completely, and I talked to him so many times prior to that.
“He’s not upset or anything, so I guess they didn’t really treat him bad. But it just hurt me to see a guy like that go.”
Russell pointed out that most of the players and staff that were at Ohio State during the one year he spent on campus (2014-15) are no longer around, making it almost pointless for him to return.
“Yeah, man. I mean if I go back (it would be) to see some of my teammates that are still there,” Russell said. “But I was there for a short amount of time, so I only know the people that were there and a lot of the people that were there while was there are gone.
“And then for the head coach to be gone, there’s really no point (in returning).”
Ohio State hired Chris Holtmann from Butler to replace Matta. It doesn’t appear Russell will be in Columbus to watch the transition anytime soon.