When you think of Nick Young, you think of the scoring, the swag and the smiles. However, last night in Utah, Young’s signature grin was nowhere to be seen.
With 5:45 left in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s game, Young was called for a foul as he crashed into Marvin Williams’ screen and subsequently was eliminated from the contest due to picking up his sixth foul in just 29 minutes of play.
Previous to fouling out, Young had just dropped 13 points in the third quarter and it looked as if he would carry the Los Angeles Lakers down the stretch and lead them to victory.
However, Young – who was visibly frustrated all night long and sat on the floor and then walked back to the locker room after fouling out before finally joining his temmates on the bench to watch the closing minutes – wouldn’t get a chance to step up and help his team defeat the lowly Jazz.
Why? He feels the referees aren’t giving his team the respect they deserve.
Of course, Young didn’t say it like that as he’s trying to avoid getting fined – “I don’t want to lose no money,” Young, who is earning the NBA’s minimum wage for veteran players this season, told ESPN Los Angeles‘ Dave McMenamin. “I’d seen [Memphis’ Zach Randolph] get fined $25,000, so I need my little checks coming in.” – but he made it crystal clear that he feels his Lakers aren’t being respected.
via Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:
[pullquote]”It’s just the respect factor. I feel like we don’t get the proper respect that everybody else gets when it comes to certain things out there on the court. It plays a major role. I’m not going to call no names; I’m not going to say it was the refs’ fault or nothing, but just watch the game over and see what happened out there.”
“Without Kobe out there, we’re just [ignored] out there it seems like,” Young said. “I don’t get the same respect as everybody else, and my teammates feel the same. We was all frustrated, but at the end of the day, nobody wants to get fined, nobody wants to talk trash about what happened out there. We’re just taking it, and that’s the tough part.”[/pullquote]
Whether Young is right about the refs or not, it’s true that this Lakers team doesn’t carry the same kind of respect that it would do if the likes of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol were out there on the floor. Even coming into this season, many wrote this team off and didn’t expect them to hang around the .500 mark, though they’ve been able to stay competitive for the most part despite being decimated by injuries all season long.
As for Young, he’ll probably feel more respected this coming summer when he’ll likely find himself signing a more lucrative contract.
During the month of December, Swaggy P is averaging 18.4 points per game. Young has a player option in his contract this coming off-season.