The whole Nick Young and D'Angelo Russell debacle has caught the attention of everybody around the NBA.
Fans everywhere have weighed in on the monumental error that led to an intended private video going public. Young wasn't aware that he was being filmed and Russell doesn't know how the video went viral.
It's been perceived as a deep betrayal on Russell's part and the rookie has been portrayed as untrustworthy in light of this news. Why the Lakers point guard was filming such a personal line of questioning is anybody's guess.
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However, coach Byron Scott has pointed out that the internal situation has nothing to do with why Young hasn't seen the court in the Lakers last eleven games.
“It was strictly a basketball decision,” Scott said, per Mark Medina of InsideSoCal. “It was all based on because I know how he’s feeling right now. He’s not really here with us.”
That would indicate that Young isn't focused on the task at hand and Scott hasn't felt he is able to call on his talents. On his best day, Young is a three-point predator that can get hot and stay hot.
Unfortunately, Young, now 30-years-old, hasn't been exhibiting that form during a particularly painful Los Angeles Lakers campaign. Swaggy P is producing a career low in points a night with 7.3 and his shooting percentage is also the worst it's ever been at 33.9 percent.
When asked if his lack of action came down to a problem with Russell, Scott insisted his decision stems purely from basketball reasons.
“It has nothing to do with the chemistry,” Scott said. “It has everything to do with just basketball.”
“It’s been tough. This is probably the icing on the cake as far as how tough it can be,” Scott said. “He didn’t get off to a great start. His shooting has not been what it has been in the past. It went even a little downhill to the last couple of months. The situation last week didn’t help. We all as coaches, players and everybody feel for him and we understand the situation he’s in. It’s a tough situation.”
In fairness, Young had sat out the eight games prior to the recent controversy.
His production rate this year speaks for itself, so whether the unfortunate situation has presented an excuse for Scott to mask those numbers or if it's making it difficult for Young to regain his footing, one can only speculate.
Young is contracted to the Lakers through to the end of the 2017-18 campaign and stands to make around $16.2 million by then. Will the Lakers attempt to move Young in light of the recent events, or even his form this year?