Nick Young: Right Message, Wrong Guy to Fix Los Angeles Lakers

If Nick Young weren't Nick Young, one of the NBA's most notoriously trigger-happy chuckers, his comments on Kobe Bryant might make a difference.

But Nick Young is Nick Young. So they can't.

"At times, we fall into relying on No. 24 a lot," Young told reporters on Nov. 23 (via Mark Medina of "We got to believe in ourselves. I believe in everybody on this team. Kobe is going to be Kobe. But we have to find a way to put the ball in the hole with everybody else."

A little background is necessary before we get into why Young's words fall flat.

The above quote came after a game against the Denver Nuggets in which Bryant made explicit what so many have long suspected—that he doesn't respect his teammates or a rational approach to end-game situations.

Tied up in the waning seconds, Kobe made it very clear how things were going to go on the next pivotal play.

Warning: Video may contain NSFW language.

Herding teammates out of the way like so many head of cattle isn't necessarily cause for criticism. Lots of greats have marginalized teammates in exactly this manner. In fact, we have a tendency to celebrate the willingness to take the big shot Bryant displayed in that clip.

But a few things make Kobe's gimme-the-ball routine different.

For starters, the Lakers have been a better offensive team with Bryant on the pine this season. Field-goal percentage, assist percentage, offensive rating, general happiness—you name it, Los Angeles has had more success with Kobe benched, per

On the season, Bryant is shooting 38.1 percent while leading the NBA in usage rate. No one in the league this year has embraced high-volume, low-efficiency play like Bryant. Maybe that's why Young, in the next still, looks a little bothered by Kobe's takeover plan.

Now, it's possible Young wa...

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