While a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, Nick Young’s professional life was a tad bit hectic.
From rookies recording private conversations about him cheating on his then-fiancé, to being an MVP candidate on Shaqtin’ A Fool, Swaggy P was the butt of a lot of jokes within the NBA. Hell, even when he hit a game-winner for the Lakers back in November of 2016 in a game against OKC, he was accused of stealing the ball from a teammate. Nick just couldn’t win.
Fortunately for Young, however, he hit free agency last offseason, and took full advantage of it, signing with the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
Since signing with Golden State, Young has been having the time of his life, both on and off the court — becoming good friends with another Shaqtin’ A Fool legend, JaVale McGee — which is a stark comparison to his days wearing the Purple and Gold.
In an interview with The Undefeated, Young explains how playing next to Lakers legend Kobe Bryant wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, describing it as “standoffish” when trying to talk to Bryant during training sessions.
“Like Kobe, it’s a totally different set of stars,” Young said. “Kobe, you had to say, ‘What’s up?’ to him and talk to him. He was very standoffish. But these guys, once I came in, were already all jelling. It was kind of like family.
“I was a little nervous. It’s a new team that just won a championship, and it’s a bunch of great players. But they welcomed me great, so I thought that was unbelievable right there.”
Swaggy P also touched on some of the other issues he’s faced throughout his career, including that D’Angelo Russell incident, and another time when he played for the Washington Wizards while teammates Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton both got suspended due to pulling guns on each other in the locker room.
“I am pretty much still ‘Swaggy.’ But I just want people to know that I’ve been through some stuff and overcame some stuff,” Young said.
Young was a member of the Washington Wizards on Dec. 21, 2009, when teammates Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton had a locker room confrontation that ended with Arenas pulling out a gun. Young was one of four Wizards players fined $10,000 apiece by the NBA on Jan. 9, 2010, after Arenas made light of the incident by pointing his index fingers at teammates as if he were firing guns during a pregame huddle. Arenas ended up being suspended for most of the 2009-10 season because of handgun violations stemming from the incident and for subsequent actions,”
“His relationship with rapper Iggy Azalea was chronicled on social media, and the two were engaged in June 2015 while Young was playing for the Lakers. But in March 2016, a cellphone video surfaced that then-Lakers rookie guard D’Angelo Russell taped in which Young answered his questions about being with other women. Young did not appear to realize he was being recorded. Russell faced a tough Lakers locker room and was ridiculed on social media, while Young was chastised for his words and actions. Azalea eventually broke off the engagement with Young after problems in their relationship continued to surface.
Young feared that his drama would cause his hometown Lakers to trade or waive him despite having one year paying $5.4 million remaining on his contract for the 2016-17 season.”
Now a member of the championship-favorite Golden State Warriors, a team that compliments Young’s perimeter-oriented style of play, Swaggy P could very well have one of the most enjoyable and best years of his career on his new team.