Is Nick Young ‘Kobe Lite’ at a Dollar Store Price?

Nick ‘Swaggy P’ Young blazed an erratic orbit over the past six seasons with three NBA teams. The Los Angeles Lakers offered him a minimum salary contract this summer, hoping to capture lightning in a bottle at a dollar-store price.

First, it’s worth noting that Young’s a local product. The pride of Cleveland High in Reseda, as well as USC, he was the 16th overall pick in the 2007 draft and spent four-and-a-half seasons with the Washington Wizards, confounding coaches and fans alike.

Young went on to play 22 games with the Clippers, plus one full season with the Philadelphia 76ers. His lone gunman mentality that fed an irrepressible appetite for mad dunks and to chuck the ball up at will followed every step of the way.

Witness just a few brief snippets from Michael Baumann’s tremendous long-form piece in Liberty Ballers:

Nick Young may be the least rational player in the NBA. His game is a love song to the impulsive, the hedonistic, the do-what-feels-right-now-and-damn-the-consequences.

He is at his most endearing when he is at his most harmful to the team. He is the rejection of the orderly, personified. There is nothing managed, or cultivated, or even adult about him. He gives the impression of being endlessly fascinated by basketball, and every sense, he plays with an intensity and a get-up-and-go that makes you wonder if he’s discovering the game anew every time he steps on the floor.

Nick Young is staying out until last call. Nick Young is the thrill of the chase. Nick Young is going commando. Nick Young is Red Bull instead of coffee. Nick Young is not the kind of basketball player you bring home to meet your parents. Nick Young is played by Jack Black in the movie version. Nick Young is too busy having fun to give a good goddamn about your stern disapproval.


Dan Devine from Ball Don’t ...

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