The Warriors have a strong recruiting pitch for free agents: a player-friendly coach, five recent Finals appearances, the extra space that Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson afford, a world-class city.
But it was apparently something else, namely the weather, that convinced point guard D’Angelo Russell to agree to a sign-and-trade that would send him from Brooklyn to Golden State
According to Chris Hine of the Star Tribune, Russell spoke about his decision to sign with the Warriors after the shootaround on Friday and explained that the opportunity to go somewhere warm “played a major part” in his plan.
I chatted with D'Angelo Russell after Warriors shootaround and asked why he chose Golden State over the Timberwolves. Playing a significant role in his decision? The weather. No joke: https://t.co/cqUHgA2bb4
— Chris Hine (@ChristopherHine) November 8, 2019
Russell had strongly considered heading to Minnesota, where he’d team with close friend Karl-Anthony Towns and former Nets assistant Pablo Prigioni before he decided he wasn’t up for any more cold winters.
“I thought the opportunity here was amazing,” Russell told the Star Tribune. “It was definitely something I was considering very strongly. But then when this opportunity came, the weather is way better, so that helped me.”
The weather seems like a logical point when making a free agency decision. It could be a reason why so many players choose to play in the Western Conference over the Eastern Conference these days.
With the Warriors, Russell now finds himself trying to shepherd a young group through growing pains as Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, and others miss time with injuries.
At least Russell will be doing it in warmer weather than in Minnesota.