The spotlight around the Los Angeles Lakers is supposed to focus on Kobe Bryant’s retirement tour, but instead features D’Angelo Russell, a leaked video, Nick Young and Iggy Azalea.
Got all that?
Many were left wondering what in the world went wrong Monday when the Lakers took a 48-point drubbing at the hands of the Utah Jazz, tied for the worst loss in franchise history. The team couldn’t shoot the ball and even Bryant couldn’t convince the guys to put up much of a fight.
Now the globe might know why—a video recently leaked in which Young talks about his off-court activities with women. This would be fine, except A.) Young is an engaged man to one Iggy Azalea and B.) The rookie Russell filmed the video.
Said video exists here:
Russell has at least one supporter of the video. Predictable, but the one is important:
hmmm i see D Angelo Russell is trending… I actually liked his film. Thanks bro.
— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) March 30, 2016
Oh boy, right?
The results of what some would classify as “snitching” have been catastrophic on the locker room. ESPN.com’s Baxter Holmes and Marc Stein detailed the budding situation:
Various Lakers officials are aware of the issue and are dismayed with Russell, sources say, but to this point they have chosen not to intervene.
“Right now,” one source said, “they’re handling it by isolating him.”
It doesn’t stop there, folks:
Said one team insider: “This was a prank gone wrong and a mistake by [Russell], and he has to be held accountable, but I would hope he isn’t overly criticized for it.”
The emergence of the video, sources said, has been the talk of the locker room for the past several days and has led to a tangible strain between Russell and some teammates.
“It’s bad,” one team source told ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne. “It’s about as bad as it can get. There were trust issues already. Now there’s no trust.”
Talk about exactly what a 15-59 team needs right? Just what a team that wanted to use the rest of the season to grow chemistry and get young guys positive experience needed, too. Now Russell’s going to be lucky if he gets the ball at all and go ahead and throw building chemistry out the window.
The only good thing to come of this? The poor play sure to continue the rest of the way means the Lakers will hold onto their lottery pick in the draft.
This seems like an apt summary of the Lakers as of late. Instead of sending Bryant off into the sunset in a memorable manner, the franchise is a burning dumpster of poor play and social-media antics from youngsters who are supposed to be the future and veterans who are supposed to be bigger than shunning youngsters for mistakes.
Sorry Kobe, the final games will focus on the young guys, just not for the right reasons.