In the nearly two months since Thad Matta was fired as Ohio State basketball coach, many former Buckeyes have offered their support to the program and new coach Chris Holtmann. D'Angelo Russell is not following their lead. The 2015 All-American, who was Matta's last one-and-done Buckeye player told NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski that he was "hurt" by Matta's firing and doesn't think he'll ever go back to Ohio State because of Matta's dismissal.
"It hurt me...it hurt me a lot honestly," Russell said of Matta's dismissal on the Woj Podcast. "I didn't really get to go back to Ohio State as much as I could just from being so far away (with the LA Lakers) and my schedule being a new kid in this league, you're still trying to figure out your schedule so I didn't get to go back, but them firing him or whatever you want to call it, I don't think I'll ever go back now. It messed me up completely."
Russell, the number 2 pick in the 2015 draft, was traded from the Lakers to Brooklyn this off-season and most of the Wojnarowski interview dealt with his departure from LA and his new home with the Nets, but 25 minutes into the interview, (click here for the podcast link) he let his feelings about Matta's firing at Ohio State be known.
"I've talked to (Matta) so many times just prior to that," Russell said. "And 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 him go...Hopefully I see him in the pros though. He's a players coach too. Whatever situation he goes to next, I think he'll be great."