The 23-year-old is thankful that he began his career alongside a group of veterans, including Kobe Bryant. But Russell didn't exactly provide a glowing review of his initial NBA surroundings when speaking to Mark Medina of USA TODAY Sports recently.
"I got to see the dysfunction as well. Just being honest," Russell said. "Not every organization is like that. Coming in as a young player, you see things that you see and you think it's normal. Then you come to an organization like Brooklyn, and it’s the complete opposite."
Russell didn't specifically explain the Lakers' internal problems, but said his time with the purple and gold involved "a lot of extra energy." L.A. traded him to the Brooklyn Nets following the 2016-17 season in a salary-shedding move.
The Ohio State product blossomed during his tenure with the Nets, earning his first All-Star appearance last season. He averaged career highs in points (21.1), assists (seven), and three-point percentage (36.9) en route to finishing second in the NBA's Most Improved Player Award voting in 2018-19.
Russell joined the Golden State Warriors through a sign-and-trade deal this offseason, choosing the Bay Area club partly because of the franchise's stability.
"When I was in L.A., the structure wasn’t up to par as I wanted it to be," Russell said. "Then when I went to Brooklyn and I got a taste of what structure was, I came here and am thinking when I had the opportunity to evaluate every team that I was possibly going to, I took structure into consideration."