Lakers Deactivate Nick Young Amid Video Scandal: 'He's Not Here With Us Mentally'
By Meredith B. Kile
Iggy Azalea wowed the crowd with her performance of “Team” at Sunday’s iHeartRadio Music Awards, but her fiance, Nick Young, is having troubles with his own team.
On Monday, Los Angeles Times sports reporter Mike Bresnahan tweeted that the Los Angeles Lakers had removed Young from their active roster before Sunday’s game against the Boston Celtics. The news comes amid the scandal involving a video secretly recorded by Young’s teammate, rookie D’Angelo Russell, in which Young apparently confesses to being unfaithful to Azalea.
ESPN’s Jovan Buha reported that while Lakers head coach Byron Scott said that his decision to bench Young over the Lakers’ last few games has “everything to do with basketball,” he was adamant that it was Young’s mental state, not divisiveness among the team, that caused him to place the 30-year-old shooting guard on the inactive list.
"It has nothing to do with the chemistry," Scott said at practice on Monday. "It has everything to do with just basketball. Right now, I know what he's going through, and I know it's hard on him. But he's not here with us mentally, and there's no need for me to put him out there on the floor."
Both Young and the Lakers have struggled this year, and as the NBA regular season winds down, Scott told reporters that Young’s scandal was “probably the icing on the cake as far as how tough it can be."
"It's been tough," the Lakers coach admitted. "He didn't get off to a great start. His shooting has not been what it has been in the past. It went even a little downhill the last couple of months.”
"The situation last week didn't help,” he added. “We all as coaches, players and everybody feel for him and understand the situation he's in. It's a tough situation."
While it seems unlikely that Young will suit up for any of the Lakers’ remaining six games, Scott would not commit to keeping him inactive for the remainder of the regular season.
"I don't know yet," he said. "Things can change."
See how Azalea thanked Russell for his role in the scandal in the video below.