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.

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  • mary

    In this one I am with Nick, his teammates should have backed him up. Win or lose its a team and you can’t let one guy stand alone. He’s owed an apology.

  • Jim in Austin

    So if he does something stupid the rest of the team should follow him over the cliff? Maybe next time he’ll think about it before doing something stupid. Any goober knows the one that retaliates gets caught. Pace yourself and time your response. His approach sounds like a good plan to help the Lakers get one of the first picks in the draft.

  • Robert Stone

    Wrong. Learn to be a team leader and walk away; Len got the Flagrant 2, which would only have helped the Lakers, and Nick would still have been available on the court. He gets paid plenty to be ON the court, and since these guys aren’t boxers, they don’t even know how to throw an effective punch…what if he had broken his hand? Unfortunately, there is not enough time for an NBA coach to teach a grown man how to handle himself. Stupid move, Nick!

  • gagu

    Gotta disagree on this. I didn’t see Young do anything worth being ejected for oher than making contact with the face of one of the several guys who were coming at him. It wasn’t a punch. The shove he got right before that from another player was harder than the face push he used. Broken hands here are a non-issue. I think the second picture speaks volumes about who needs to be taught how to be a team leader and how to handle himself.