D’Angelo Russell Speaks On The Life Changing First Step On ‘The Path to the Cap’ [Recap]
Okayplayer was in the building as the NBA Draft fastly approaches to see The Path to the Cap, an exploration into D’Angelo Russell’s 2015 draft night.
First, let me say that I am not hating on the former Los Angeles Laker when I say this, but… his timing couldn’t have been worse. The 2018 NBA Draft is only a few days away and the 2015 #2 overall pick, D’Angelo Russell, is nowhere to be found. As myself and other invited guests mix and mingle, our scene is totally devoid of Russell’s charismatic star power.
New Era celebrated the New York staple event at NeueHouse with a never-before-seen exploration of how an athlete’s life changes once called upon by the NBA Commissioner. Titled The Path to the Cap, hoops fans were treated to a special look at D’Angelo Russell’s journey from the little-big-town of Louisville, KY to putting on a Lakers hat on draft night.
As we left from the mingling area to take our seats in the screening room, the former Ohio State University guard made his appearance as he and his family took their seats in the front row. Sports writers were clutching their pearls behind me as I could overhear them share thoughts on who the Nets might pick and how would Russell fit in with other teams. Yours truly was interested in learning more about the baller and his journey into the NBA.
I was familiar with Russell since his days at OSU, but never dove into his childhood or his high school career. You can see it in the film above that he was a pretty exceptional (see: competitive) child. His intense sibling rivalry with his two brothers was relatable as someone who hung around the older boys in my neighborhood. Upon becoming a standout guard, his transition to the popular prep school Montvale Academy proved to be a true challenge to acclimate to his new surroundings.
Through it all, Russell’s support system, drive, dedication, and passion to be one of the game’s best helped him on that night when Commissioner Adam Silver called his name to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Full of laughs, introspective moments, and confessionals from family (his little sister is a star) and friends (Karl-Anthony Towns) — The Path to the Cap not only showed how much you had to sacrifice to get to that next level, but how everyone’s world changes once you cross that threshold.
The film was developed in support of the New Era NBA Authentics: Draft Series collection. 30 hats for 30 teams and these will be worn by all draftees on Thursday the minute their lifelong dreams are realized. In addition to individual team logos and colorways, each hat in the collection features a series of unique design elements, featuring custom patches and pins that pay homage to the local city neighborhoods that host these ballerific teams.
As a Cleveland Cavs fan, I have to admit that I wasn’t impressed by the design of the hat. In fact, the Denver Nuggets fitted was a bit more my style, even though I have no love for the Mile High sports team. “The NBA Authentics: Draft Series collection is New Era Cap’s most exciting NBA collection to date,” said Mark Maidment, Senior Vice President, Brand at New Era Cap. “We wanted to create visual representations of the excitement these young men will feel for their new homes and fan families. The cap marks the end of their first path and the beginning of the next: the opportunity to represent each of these cities come opening night.”
I have to say that the film was more dazzling than the reveal of the fitted—well, just the Cavs hat. D’Angelo’s energy and the vibe he and his friends and family shared with those in attendance proved that despite not having a high pick in this year’s draft, the Brooklyn Nets have a true leader and floor general with Russell on the court. “The feeling of getting drafted and putting on that team hat was something I dreamed about forever. I worked my entire life to put on that cap,” said Russell. “It is an incredible honor to have worked alongside New Era to tell the story of how I got to that moment, and I’m excited for every player in this year’s draft class to realize that same dream.”
Watch the full documentary above, peep the gallery of the highlights as well, and share who you think will go top 5 in the NBA Draft by hitting us up on Twitter @Okayplayer.