Second billboard design encouraging D’Angelo Russell to Suns appears

Jun 28, 2019, 9:53 AM | Updated: 11:37 am

The D’Angelo Russell to Phoenix campaign is in full-fledged mode.

As Suns fans clamor for the services of the 23-year-old free agent point guard, some have taken things to the next level.

A billboard has appeared at the intersection of Indian School and 44th Street on Thursday, with Russell’s nickname and the Phoenix initials multiplied by one another, accompanying the hashtag #halloweenszn.

A second design of the billboard series appeared Friday morning, this time taking a more subtle approach by reading, “#LOADING… N:OW,” invoking Russell’s nickname, Dloading.

The #halloweenszn hashtag from the first billboard was made popular on the night of the 2019 NBA Draft, when Russell tweeted it out, fueling speculation that he would join the Suns, whose colors are prominent during the holiday.

The Suns then changed their profile picture to a logo with orange and black, ramping speculation up even further.

Despite the hype, multiple outlets, including 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro, have reported that the Suns are not expected to pursue Russell in free agency.

With a hole at point guard, Russell would be a fit. The guard put up 21.1 points and seven assists a game last season for the Brooklyn Nets.

98.7 FM spoke with one of the individuals who came together with a group of friends to purchase the billboard. The group requested to remain anonymous.

“Someone brought up the idea of chipping in to put up a billboard to kind of bring some awareness to bringing D-Lo to Phoenix,” the fan said.

“Obviously, we didn’t know this was the kind of reaction we were going to get.”

The fan was not aware of the price tag on the billboard, nor how long it will stay up. Many in the group are born and raised in Phoenix and lifelong Suns fans.

“We’re definitely happy with the reaction but no, I wouldn’t say mission accomplished. I think the mission is accomplished when D’Angelo Russell is wearing orange and black and purple at the start of the season,” the fan said.

“I think the big thing about it is we’re tired of seeing the Suns struggle.”

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