Nick Young mad at Lakers teammates for not helping him in fight
Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young was ejected in the second quarter of a loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night for throwing a punch. Young was furious after a hard foul from Alex Len, and he ended up hitting Goran Dragic in the face during the scrum that followed. After the game, Young expressed disappointment in his teammates for not having his back.
“What I’m mad about is it was 1-on-5, I felt like,” Young said, via ESPNLosAngeles.com. “If somebody [from the Lakers] would have got in the middle, everything wouldn’t have escalated that much.”
One player who chose not to get involved was point guard Kendall Marshall, who stood watching the brawl from a distance. Instagram user davidhaddad24 shared the following meme after the game, and some of the commenters said that Young (@swaggyp1) even “liked” the photo.
Marshall criticized Young for not showing more composure.
“I understand where Nick’s coming from, he did get fouled hard and it wasn’t a basketball play by any means but at the same time, we got to understand our numbers [of available players on the roster] and sometimes you just got to win some and lose some,” he said. “I don’t know if that was the smartest play at the time.
“I think Nick kind of saw what he wanted to see at the time. Obviously, like I said, you got to understand we got seven guys so maybe at that point and time you just got to chill out.”
Did Young overreact? Sure, but he wasn’t imagining that it was a cheap shot. There’s a reason Len was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected from the game after officials reviewed the play. Wes Johnson and Pau Gasol, both of whom were sitting on the bench at the time of the dust-up, said the team should have done a better job of protecting Swaggy P.
“Nick got fouled pretty hard, fell on the floor and he was upset about the foul and I think everybody would have been,” Gasol said. “Unfortunately we didn’t get a guy in between Nick and the three or four guys that were going at him, so I think that was the first mistake or slow reaction on our part. We should have protected Nick there because he had, like I said, a couple guys just pushing him and shoving him.”
Bench players are strictly prohibited from coming onto the court during a physical altercation, and you’re almost guaranteed a suspension if you do so. However, Marshall was one of the five Lakers on the court at the time. If nothing else, you’d expect your teammates to help break the fight up.