In the second quarter of Wednesday night’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns, Lakers guard Nick Young got hit across the face by rookie Alex Len. Young then bucked up and got into an altercation with several Suns players, even throwing a punch that (thankfully) didn’t land on anyone.
However, throwing a punch is something the NBA obviously doesn’t condone, which has resulted in some consequences for Young. He was ejected from the game against the Suns, but on Thursday the league handed down a one-game suspension to Young, which he will serve on Friday night as the Lakers take on the Boston Celtics on the second game of their Grammy road trip.
Young has been the Lakers’ leading scorer this season, averaging 16.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.4 assist in 28.3 minutes per game while shooting 42.4 percent from the floor and 34.6 percent from three. With the Lakers’ already having a depleted backcourt full of injuries, losing another player doesn’t bode well for their chances, even against the struggling Celtics.
More than the suspension, though, the biggest concern from this ordeal may be Young’s unhappiness with his Lakers teammates. According to multiple reports, Young expressed displeasure with his teammates for not coming to his aid in the altercation. Rookie Ryan Kelly was near to the action, but he didn’t really do anything to help Young or stop anything from happening.
Though it’s pretty easy to understand why someone wouldn’t want to get into an on-court fight because of wanting to avoid a suspension, Young being displeased with his teammates could potentially be something that’s divisive going forward. For a team that’s severely depleted due to injuries and that has been struggling, the last thing they need is a monkey wrench thrown in like this one. We’ll see if anything further develops from this.