The Christmas spirit is upon us, and that means most are in a joyous mood as they worship, open presents and catch up with family and friends. But that’s nothing new for Lakers forward Nick Young. He always embodies the holiday cheer, what with his infectious smile and long-lasting energy.
So on the days leading up to the Lakers’ Christmas Day game against the Miami Heat, it was only natural for Young to serve up his glowing personality. And it came in the form of Young just letting it rip on various subjects.
First topic: With Kobe Bryant missing his first Christmas Day game ever in his 18-year career, who’s going to wear his Nike Christmas Day shoes?
“I might have to take them,” Young said. “Somebody has to wear the new Kobe’s.”
Young would be a perfect candidate considering he has a vast shoe collection and grew up admiring Bryant.
Perhaps those shoes would help Young continue his surprising trend of taking charges, a tactic that could come in handy in slowing down LeBron James. But it could also just lead toward James posterizing Young in the same fashion he’s done to Atlanta’s Paul Millsap or Sacramento’s Ben McLemore.
Would Young take a charge like that?
“It depends. I’m a man up and try to jump with him,” Young said, laughing. “I think I can jump with him. It was tough. We got a train coming down full speed. The way he’s been dunking on people lately. You can’t let them ge their confidence going. Once they get the confidence, it’s tough.”
With former Laker and Time Warner Cable SportsNet analyst James Worthy playfully imitating Young’s voice, Young offered the perfect Christmas gift for the famed Laker.
With his close friend Jordan Farmar returning against Miami after missing the past 10 games because of a strained left hamstring, Young, a former USC standout, has repeatedly called playfully suggested it took long for Farmar to return because the former UCLA product lacks toughness.
“I told him it’s a big game to come back for,” Young said. “He should’ve got a practice with us against Phoenix. But he says he’s ready. Cramps is gone. Now he’s back ready to play.”
What does Farmar think of the nickname “Cramps?”
“I don’t say nothing back to him. You just have to let him do his thing,” Farmar said, smiling. “It’s just like at a comedy show. You can’t ever beat the guy with the mic. Right now, he has the mic at all times. Just let him do his thing. I just try to give him the ball so he can put it in the basket.”
Young hardly did that playing point guard, logging only five assists through three games.
“He’s a POINTS guard,” Farmar joked. “He didn’t have any assists. He played 40 minutes with no assists.”
So much for Young arguing this holiday season that it’s better to give than to receive.
“The way we’ve been shooting,” Young said, “it’s tough.”
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org