Sports Out West

Lakers news: Nick Young says tanking not an option

Gene Sweeney Jr. / Associated Press / December 27, 2013

 As the Los Angeles Lakers finish out the final stretch of what has been a disappointing season, the idea of tanking is not something that Nick Young feels his team has chosen to do, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com

The Lakers enter Sunday’s game against the Memphis Grizzles on a six-game losing streak and hold the sixth-worst record in the NBA. They also rank 29th in the league in points allowed (109.5), last in rebound differential (-8.0), 22nd in opponent field goal percentage (.468), and 29th in assists allowed per game (25.7).

All of this could point to the team possibly tanking, but for Young that has not been the case.

know some teams believe they should tank,” Young said. “I know a lot of teams out there are probably doing it, because they believe this draft is going to be one of the biggest drafts that’s happened in a long time.

“But for me, I haven’t really paid attention to it. I think we’re not going out there just to lose for the draft because I think we still want to be in the league. These guys are coming in to take our spots, so, I’m not about to give up for somebody else to come in and take my spot.”

This season Los Angeles has set many historic lows such as losing a franchise-record 54 games in the regular season, suffering the worst losses in the organization’s history to the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spur, suffering their first season series loss to Dallas Mavericks, and on top of that they have given up the most points in a single game by any team this year in 145-130 defeat to the Houston Rockets on April 8.

The struggles have been monumental to say the least, which would only make the idea of tanking feasible. However, it is something that is hard to believe with the team the Lakers had constructed last offseason with a multitude of players playing on one-year deals in hopes of proving they not only belong in the NBA but also are worth long-term contracts because of their level of play on the court.

This has all put a lot of criticism from Lakers fans on head coach Mike D’Antoni as one of the main reasosn why the team has struggled the way they have this season. Jodie Meeks after Thursday’s practice praised his head coach for what he has done despite the team’s lack of success.

“Mike’s been great,” Meeks said. “He’s been the same tone every game. We come in for practice and he’s very encouraging and I love playing for him. I know everybody else does too. Especially the young guys, because most of us haven’t played this many minutes in our career. So, he’s given us the opportunity to expand our games, especially with all the injuries and he’s helped us out a lot.”

Although the concept of tanking may seem to be a suitable explanation for Los Angeles’ struggles this season, that simply has not been issue as injuries combined with the lack of talent outweigh any talk of this being the case. Ultimately, it just has been a season that the team would like to get through and move on from.

Photo Credit:  Gene Sweeney Jr. / Associated Press

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.

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