Casual followers of the NBA have more than likely heard rumblings over the past week or so about strife in the locker room of the Los Angeles Lakers. For those unfamiliar with the reason, here goes.
For starters, this season the Lakers were one of the few teams (7 to be exact) to allow the Philadelphia 76ers to put a check in the win column. I mention that only to add a little context as to how terrible their season has already been. Other than Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour a la Derek Jeter’s last season with the Yankees, this year has been one to forget for the Lakers. There are however some bright spots for the future as they have done a pretty good job bringing in young talent as a byproduct of being awful in recent season. One of those bright spots, D’Angelo Russell, was selected second overall in the 2015 NBA Draft after spending one season at Ohio State University.
Though Russell has impressed on the court during his rookie campaign, his noted immaturity at times throughout the season has raised concerns. This immaturity was put on full display when a video surfaced online of Russell secretly filming teammate Nick “Swaggy P” Young openly discussing his infidelities in what appears to be a team hotel room or other living arrangement. Though he goes by Swaggy P, Nick Young is actually a 30 year old man that has had some success in the NBA, and has been engaged to pop star (rapper?) Iggy Azalea since June 2015. In the video, recorded unbeknownst to Young, Russell probes him on his relationships with women outside of his fiancee, and he incriminates himself in a pretty cringe-worthy way, check it out below if you like.
The odd part of this is that no one can quite confirm how the video made it’s way online, and Russell has adamantly denied sharing it on purpose. He claims that the pair would always film each other doing stupid things and that this particular situation was another one of those pranks that happened to go wrong. Without getting into the details of the leak, the facts remain that a man was exposed as a cheater for his fiancee and the world to see, and on top of that, broke ‘guy code’ and has been ostracized by his team.
Now I’m sure everyone has their thoughts and suspicions of how NBA players handle their private lives, and this is most likely not a one-off occurrence, but it shows how dangerous social media can be. It is difficult enough to find out that your significant other has not been faithful, but for the world to be your audience it has to be incredibly humiliating for all parties involved. Due to the organization’s investment in Russell as the future, Nick Young has since been involved in trade rumors. Some say that the team was looking to trade him anyway, but at this point it seems like one has to go and it won’t be the young budding superstar. Now, Russell will have to deal with the rest of his teammates having lost trust in him, and Young and Azalea will have to figure out how to move on with everyone judging.
Some key takeaways? Don’t cheat. And if you do*, make sure you know where your confidant’s phone is when you’re admitting to it, because you could end up on TMZ!
*I do not condone infidelity