- Raiders’ veteran imports hungry for respect
- Chris Paul injury: Clippers’ guard slowed by hamstring in practice
- Richard Sherman, Seahawks nearing contract extension, per report
- San Francisco Giants’ offense suddenly stalled
- 2014 NBA playoffs roundtable and predictions
- NHL playoffs 2014 preview: Stanley Cup roundtable and predictions
- VIDEO: Damian Lillard’s adidas commercial is outstanding
- VIDEO: Nick Young’s 360-degree layup connects in Lakers’ home finale
- West Coast sports roundup, Week 15: 49ers’ Aldon Smith arrested, Josh Hamilton out for two months
- NFL Draft 2014: Whose stock is rising and falling?
Lakers news: Nick Young says pride at stake in ’13-14
- Updated: August 18, 2013
Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young has been a punchline throughout his career for a number of reasons — namely his happy-go-lucky disposition and propensity to take ill-advised shots.
But last week, the L.A. Valley native who prepped at Reseda’s Cleveland High School took a business-like, almost angry tone when told about ESPN.com’s 12th place Western Conference ranking for his new team.
“We’re ranked 12th in the league?” he said, slightly puzzled.
Well, not exactly, more like 12th in the West, right behind the New Orleans Pelicans to be exact.
“What? No! Out of teams in the West?” he said, now more upset than puzzled.
It’s not a joke.
ESPN and many analysts and experts believe the Lakers won’t finish inside the top-12 this upcoming season for a variety of reasons. After losing Dwight Howard via free agency to the Houston Rockets, the Lakers remained handicapped by the salary cap and couldn’t add any substantial talent to the roster to replace him. Instead, Young and other veteran free agents had to come aboard for the veteran’s minimum and CBA exceptions to fill out their roster.
This fiery attitude from Young is a welcome one. After spending his first five and-a-half seasons with the Washington Wizards in obscurity before splitting time with the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers, Young has garnered a reputation for being careless with his shot selection and making mental mistakes. Now 28 years-old, it looks as though he’s maturing, and the Lakers hope that attitude can translate to the basketball court.
The best thing about this transition is that he’ll be playing alongside Kobe Bryant. While it could play out to be the most ironic pairing of ball-dominant wings in team history, playing with a legendary workman like Kobe ought to do him plenty of good as he plays for his future. Young will be motivated to earn his next contract, while the Lakers are all going to embrace the “us against the world” mentality while everyone counts them out in 2013-14.
Is Nick Young up for the challenge? If he is, the Lakers will surprise a lot of skeptics next season.
Photo Credit: Tumblr
Latest posts by Michael C. Jones (see all)
- Chris Paul injury: Clippers’ guard slowed by hamstring in practice - April 22, 2014
- Richard Sherman, Seahawks nearing contract extension, per report - April 22, 2014
- VIDEO: Damian Lillard’s adidas commercial is outstanding - April 16, 2014