Los Angeles Lakers leading scorer and enigmatic guard Nick Young has been suspended for one game by the NBA for his role in an altercation with the Phoenix Suns earlier this week. However, it was Young’s postgame comments that really proved worrisome as they seemed to show a bit of bad blood in the locker room.
After being ejected from the game, Young talked about how he felt like it was “one-on-five” during the shoving match that resulted after a flagrant foul from Alex Len on Young. Young was critical of his teammates for not stepping up and getting involved in the on-court feud. He wasn’t asking for anyone to come to blows, just for someone to have his back.
For a team that’s already at the end of their wits due to numerous injuries and relatively poor play overall, an issue like this could have severely divided the Lakers’ locker room. Apparently they were well of that, though, and had a team meeting to clear the air on Friday.
Per a report from Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, the Lakers seemed together after the meeting. Second-year point guard Kendall Marshall, who was on the floor but stayed away from the altercation against Phoenix, took blame for not helping young and not being a good teammate in that particular situation. Young also spoke on the matter, saying that the team had come to conclusion that they would “get in there” if another altercation were to arise. Young also added, “you don’t have to fight, you just got to step in between.”
The Lakers have some tough injury-ridden times ahead of them and any division within the locker room would be incredibly detrimental. It’s only words at this point, but having this team meeting should help prevent any more problems arising than there already are in Los Angeles.