The most interesting thing that happened to the Los Angeles Lakers last season was a conversation between D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young leaking to social media, with an alleged confession from Young about cheating on Iggy Azalea. What seemed like a lot of drama last season might become nothing at this point, with time doing what it usually does: Mend broken things and makes people forget.
According to Young, the beef is pretty much over: We’re teammates. It’s been so long, so it’s kind of old. We’ve already been working it out. It is what it is. I can’t be mad forever.
Last season, when the story came out via a Twitter account of a celebrity gossip site, it seemed as if the end of the world has come, or perhaps the end of Russell’s time with the Lakers. He was reportedly ostracized by teammates, off and on the floor. Russell apologized before the next game in a pre-game press conference, while Young tried to avoid spilling the beans on his private life. He still doesn’t want to share too much besides saying things are better between him and Russell. The whole incident was an excellent source for hilarious memes.
Professionally, Russell is in a better spot. Entering his second NBA season, he has no Kobe Bryant or Byron Scott on the team to hold him back. He looked great in the Summer League, and has a chance to develop without anyone curbing his progress, alongside an interested young core of Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.
Young, on the other hand, might be entering his final NBA season (although he does have a player option for 2017-2018) if he doesn’t get himself back to where he was two years ago. He averaged 17.9 points per game on his first season with the Lakers, but dropped to 13.4 in 2014-2015 with a lot of Bryant next to him, and shot just 33.9% from the field last season, scoring a career low 7.3 points per game. Injuries have also been an issue for Young, missing 109 games over the last four season, although some of that has simply been about getting left out by Scott, never a big fan of Young.