Lakers rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell has lost support among certain teammates after secretly recording a video that showed Nick Young admitting that he saw another woman besides his fiancee, Iggy Azalea, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.
The video, which was obtained somehow by celebrity gossip website Fameolous this week, showed Russell filming Young in a hotel room while asking him questions about women. Russell asked Young, “You was 30 and she was 19?” referring to Young’s age and the age of an unnamed woman Young said he met at a nightclub last summer.
Young was friends with Russell and often publicly supported him amid the constant criticism the Lakers’ rookie point guard received under Lakers coach Byron Scott surrounding his play, work ethic and maturity. But Young’s relationship with Russell has since been strained, and sources familiar with the situation believe it cannot be salvaged.
Sources also added several of Russell’s teammates have become distrustful of him after violating an unwritten rule about making details about anyone’s private life public even if it was unintentional. There is strong concern those issues could linger for the Lakers (15-59) entering Wednesday’s game against the Miami Heat (43-30) on Wednesday at Staples Center.
Even before Russell’s recorded video became public, several Lakers sources have privately echoed Scott’s criticisms throughout the 2015-16 season about the 20-year-old Russell’s maturity, work ethic and attitude. During an angry speech following a loss in Portland in late January, Kobe Bryant had also singled Russell and Julius Randle out about their poor play.
Russell had at least one supporter about his recently released video.
hmmm i see D Angelo Russell is trending… I actually liked his film. Thanks bro.
— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) March 30, 2016
In that video, Russell also asked Young if he has ever seen celebrity, Amber Rose.
“No, she knows my girl,” Young said in the video, referring to Azalea. Russell later told Young in the video,” I’m glad you told my video all that.” Young expressed confusion before the video ended abruptly.
ESPN.com first reported how Russell’s secretly recorded video has caused problems in the Lakers’ locker room. The report added that Russell ate at a table by himself during a recent breakfast meeting.
Young has not played in the Lakers’ last 10 games, but the team cited a stomach bug as the reason for his absence in the past two contests. Young stayed in Los Angeles during the Lakers’ loss in Utah on Monday. Before the Lakers’ game last Friday against Denver at Staples Center, Young made a deliberate attempt to avoid crossing paths with Russell during pre-game preparations.
Young also sparked attention last week when activist Alexis Jones accused both him and Lakers teammate Jordan Clarkson for harassing her and her 68-year-old mother in Hollywood. The Lakers concluded “different interpretations of what happened” after talking with all three parties. Young and Clarkson also called the incident “a miscommunication from both sides.”
Young has since considered filing a lawsuit, according to sources, especially after a video surfaced that showed Jones interviewing Young for a television report when both attended USC. Jones had posted photos of Young and Clarkson on her Instagram account, initially claiming she did not know of the two Lakers players that she said harassed her.
Russell has averaged 13.1 points on 41.7 percent shooting and 3.4 assists in 27.5 minutes in a 2015-16 season filled with plenty of highs and lows. Despite representing the Lakers’ long-term future as their No. 2 draft pick, Russell lost his starting spot 20 games into the season amid Scott’s frustration with the team’s sluggish starts as well as his performances and work ethic. Russell reclaimed his starting spot shortly after the NBA All-Star break.
In his first five starts since then, Russell averaged 21.4 points while shooting 55.2 percent from the field and 62.1 percent from 3-point range and tallying 4.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. In his last five games, however, Russell has averaged only 10.8 points while shooting 34.9 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from 3-point range and posting 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.