The frustration hovering over Nick Young suddenly faded away, prompting the Lakers’ forward to say something that left everyone shaking their heads.
Young reported to practice on Wednesday expressing happiness about remaining on the Lakers after the NBA trade deadline. But as Young admitted, “I was off by a day.”
“That was going to be my No. 1 joke coming in,” Young said after practice on Thursday at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. “I was telling them I would be here and I still see your faces. They would come back and say, ‘You got a day to go.’
Instead, the Lakers just expressed confusion over Young’s apparent ignorance.
“I love Nick,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said, laughing. “I don’t think Nick pays a lot of attention to current events. It didn’t shock me. You love being around him. A lot of this he takes with a grain of salt.”
Hence, Lakers trainer Gary Vitti told Young multiple times that Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak wanted to speak with him. Vitti also joked with Young the Lakers tried to trade Young, but could not find any suitors.
“It got to the point where he said, ‘I got to stop,'” Young said, laughing. “‘Just in case something happens, I don’t want to be the guy that comes down.'”
That didn’t happen.
“Once I was doing [running drills], I thought I was stuck here,” Young said. “At first it was light and they didn’t want us to get hurt. Then once there were [a lot of running drills], I thought we’re here to stay.”
But even if Young admitted feeling a “little nervous,” he had told Los Angeles News Group he remained open about the Lakers trading him to a playoff team. Young figured it would assuage his frustrations with the Lakers’ record (11-44) as well as posting career-lows in points (7.2) and shooting percentage (35.4) in only 18.8 minutes per contest.
“When you’re in my shoes, you see so much going on,” Young said. “You’re just pretty much waiting to hear your name. Once it doesn’t happen, you feel a little relief. You get back to being focused with where you’re at.”