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Potential No. 1 pick D’Angelo Russell admits to driving without license, says he’s undecided on NBA draft

D'Angelo Russell, Nigel Hayes

Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell, right, drives to the basket against Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Wisconsin won 72-48. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)


Phil Jackson got into trouble for talking about D’Angelo Russell.

Now, Russell – who leads Ohio State into the NCAA tournament and has a projected draft range of No. 1 to No. 4 – might face trouble for talking about himself.

Ari Wasserman, Northeast Ohio Media Group:

D’Angelo Russell was too busy to get a driver’s license, but he used to drive around all the time. He did when he was down at prep school at Florida’s Montverde Academy.

“I don’t have one, but I was driving since I was 15,” Russell told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “I always drove. I used to drive all the time. I am probably the only guy here telling you this, but there are a million people who do the same thing. But I can’t be doing stuff like that anymore.”

Russell is correct about this happening. I took drivers’ training with someone who drove himself to each class.

But this will raise the eyebrows of NBA teams. Nobody wants Andrew Bynum-type issues with cars, and Russell’s general decision-making will be scrutinized. He says he has learned, and he’s now old enough to get a license. But why did he violate this law in the first place? Does it indicate future problems? This will surely be a topic during pre-draft interviews.

That is if Russell, a freshman, enters the draft.

Russell, via Wasserman:

“Its not like I’m only telling a selective group of people what I’m going to do after the season,” Russell said. “I haven’t spoken on it. I am giving everyone the same answer. It’s the truth. I’m not trying to shy away from any publicity or any of that. My answer is always the same because it’s the truth. When you’re telling the truth all of your answers are always the same.

“Everybody has a dream. You’re always going to do what’s right for you. Me and my family will make a decision of what’s right for me and what’s right for us as a family. I know it will all happen when the time comes. At this time in my life when people ask me about it, I just don’t know. And it’s like it’s not good enough. But I really don’t know. So when I tell people that, I just don’t know man.”

A lot of elite NBA prospects say this. Some mean it. Nearly all of them turn pro.

I’d bet on Russell, once he assesses his situation, choosing the NBA and a multi-million-dollar guarantee.