MINNEAPOLIS — The smile widened on Byron Scott’s face as he heard the question.
What’s the Nick Young coaching experience like?
“It’s been interesting to say the least,” Scott said. “There’s been a lot of good moments because he’s interesting. But it’s been fun.”
It sure has.
When he isn’t averaging 15.7 points per game and giving Kobe Bryant a secondary scoring option, Young is also entertaining teammates, coaches and reporters alike with his friendly personality and hilarious quotes.
Young appeared in mid-season form after hitting a 30-foot three-pointer that secured the Lakers’ 112-110 overtime win on Friday against the San Antonio Spurs. Young gave shoutouts to nearly all of his teammates and interviewed Jordan Hill about himself. Young playfully talked trash to Kobe Bryant during Thursday’s practice and poked fun at the Lakers’ star feeling fatigued against San Antonio. After calling himself “Swaggy P” for his nine-year NBA career, Young gave himself a new nickname titled “IDM,” standing for “I Don’t Miss.”
“He’s a walking quotation,” Scott said. “He’ll give you guys anything you need. He loves when you talk to him.”
The Lakers also love talking to Young too, with Scott calling him “a rare breed in our league today” and saying “Heavenly Father broke the mold when he made him.”
Scott and Young have bantered with each other before. Young left Scott out of his top five three-point shooters, while ranking himself No. 1. Scott has said Young has lost every shooting contest against him in practices and shootarounds. Scott also said he refuses to call Young “Swaggy” and that he has called him “Nicholas” two or three times this season when he was “pissed off.”
“The one thing Nick does bring is a lot of playfulness and laughter and practice and games. He’s always smiling so you have no choice but to like the kid,” Scott said.”The thing I love about him the most is with all the playfulness that he has, he wants to win. That’s big time.”
Amid Young’s playful demeanor, he has taken on a serious tone during the Lakers’ worst start in franchise history. After last week’s loss in Boston, Young abruptly walked away from a post-game interview that lasted only 45 seconds. Young also weathered frustration while missing six weeks because of a broken right thumb.
“He cares about winning,” Scott said. “That’s the thing I love about him the most. He’s a player that likes to play around and have fun and practice and enjoys playing. He has a certain zest for going out there and having that competition. But when we lose games, he takes it pretty hard. That’s very important.”