Nick ‘Swaggy P’ Young Providing Necessary Spark in Los Angeles Lakers Season

Brash, shot-happy and infinitely quotable, Nick Young is lighting up a depressingly dark Los Angeles Lakers season and making sure everyone is along for the ride.

After a stunning upset win against the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 23, with Kobe Bryant sitting out to rest, Young was quizzed about how that energy could carry over upon the superstar's return.

“Pretty much going to have to tell Kobe to pass me the ball, pass us the ball, you know,” came the answer, per “Tell him to take the back seat for a little bit. He can be ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ and I can be Miss Daisy and drive.”

That’s how the self-styled "Swaggy P" rolls these days—a nonstop extravaganza of tongue-in-cheek interviews, fashion endorsements and a romance with American Music Award-winning hip-hop star Iggy Azalea, with whom he recently purchased a six-bedroom, $3.45 million house in the San Fernando Valley.

And then there’s the blue 1962 Chevy Impala ragtop Azalea gifted Young for Christmas.

In other words, life is good. Signed to a four-year contract worth just over $21 million this summer, the 29-year-old swingman is taking up where he left off last season—as a Sixth Man of the Year candidate for the purple and gold.

There was a slight hitch during training camp—the ebullient baller tore a tendon in his thumb while trying to steal the rock from Bryant. The injury required surgery and six weeks off. Since returning to action, however, Young has averaged 14.7 points off the bench in 22 games.

He’s also taking a team-high 5.5 shots per game from behind the arc and making 44 percent of them. That puts him in pretty good company—currently ranked No. 7 in the NBA for long-range accuracy.

And then there’s Young’s signature four-point plays—fading away, scissor-kicking and lofting distant ra...

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