Luke Walton goes easy on Nick Young after scary July 4 firework incident

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Sometimes, it feels like Nick Young really doesn't help himself.

The swingman has been in the thick of it the past six months and his personal whirlwind has led to reports surfacing about his future with the L.A. Lakers.

It's widely believed that the organisation - which is in Young's hometown - are looking to trade the 31-year-old and if they can't, they will buyout the remaining two years on his $11 million contract.

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The Snapchat scandal at the backend of last season, that was naively orchestrated by D'Angelo Russell, was the first major hit to Young's character. It seemingly revealed the pure shooter had  been unfaithful to his then-fiancee Iggy Azalea.

Since then, a reportedly fractious locker room - where Russell's value would always supersede Young's at this point - and a very public break up from Azalea have made Young's on-court contributions nothing but an after thought.

Then, yesterday, a video emerged showing Young holding a lit firework on the July 4 and accidentally letting it explode in his hand.

Just when Young needs to get his head down and impress his new head coach, Luke Walton, he goes and does that. For what it's worth, Walton didn't appear angry with the veteran, just relieved that he wasn't seriously hurt.

“You would hope that things like that don’t happen,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said after summer league practice on Tuesday at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo. “Professional athletes kind of need their hands. But I’m glad he’s okay.”

Walton was hardly going to dress him down in public, but it must be frustrating to arrive to a franchise and have to deal with external issues like this, on top of trying to rectify a team that only won 17 games last season.

The frustrating thing is, Young could actually work very well in a small-ball, floor spacing lineup.

If Walton is able to translate what he ran with the Warriors last term - where he went 24-0 to start the season - then the Staples Center could be in for some exciting basketball.

Swaggy P's best asset is his perimeter shooting ability and when he gets hot, he can take games over. Sadly, he may be robbing himself of the chance to be a part of the new dawn in L.A.

For some reason, Russell was sought for comment following Young's incident at his L.A. home and his brief back and forth with the reporter was curious to say the least.

“I didn’t see it. Were you scared?” Russell strangely asked a reporter who inquired about Young’s fireworks stunt. The reporter then informed Russell he was not concerned.

“I wasn’t either,” Russell said. “I didn’t see it.”

Julius Randle
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Nick Young
D'Angelo Russell
Kobe Bryant

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