Saturday 25th May 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Nick Young and Byron Scott Are Beefing

swagsNick Young and Byron Scott should probably consider couples therapy.

The high-volume shooting guard and Los Angeles Lakers head coach seldom see eye to eye. The former is a freewheeling spirit, an easygoing goofball with an appreciation for shoes, smiling, contested jumpers and all things Iggy Azelea. The latter is an old school head honcho, a clipboard-wielding brut who is to Young as Kobe Bryant was and still is to Dwight Howard.

In other words, these two clash. A lot.

The latest has an injured Young dismissing some pointed criticism from Byron. Per Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (h/t ProBasketballTalk):

Lakers coach Byron Scott reiterated Saturday that Young needs to return with a more balanced game, one that includes passing and defense to supplement his high-volume shooting. With Young averaging 13.4 points per game this season on a career-low 36.6-percent shooting, Scott also threatened to reduce his minutes if the Lakers upgrade their roster this summer.

“I’m used to it right now, hearing what Byron has to say,” said Young, who is in the first season of a four-year deal worth $21.5 million “I take it with a grain of salt.”

Does Young take Scott’s words as valuable feedback?

“Nah,” Young said. “I don’t know. I feel like it’s just a target toward me. It’s a little unfair. But it’s cool.”

Yet, Young vowed he will improve his game this offseason. But he currently remains confined toward only completing conditioning and shooting drills.

“I’m trying to stay in shape. I don’t want to get fat,” Young said. “I’ll continue to work out, work hard and stay Swaggy.”

It’s really not surprising that Young and Scott cannot find common ground. Scott doesn’t seem to appreciate the antics, both on and off the court. He has the reputation of a hard ass, a disciplinarian, a stringent leader who is smitten with the exact kind of basketball Young doesn’t play.

Nevertheless, the absence of common ground is problematic.

If Scott is going to do more than babysit this team’s recurrent lottery finishes, there needs to be a mutual respect between he and the players. You haven’t heard of their being a supreme disconnect in the locker room this season, but if Young is unhappy, it’s safe to assume there are others who aren’t thrilled, either.

That’s the risk of a makeshift roster. It’s hard to install a culture and ideology when many of the players know they won’t be around next season.

But that would only explain the tension between Scott and other players. Young is in the first season of a four-year deal. He’s going to be around for a while. And if Scott intends on doing the same, this public jostling needs to cease and desist. It’s innocent to some degree, but volume losing is hard enough without players and coaches taking subtle, unnecessary swipes at each other.


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