Nick Young on Magic’s tanking talk: He should ‘stay at Dodger Stadium for a while’
A majority of the talk at Los Angeles Lakers’ practice on Wednesday revolved around NBA icon Magic Johnson’s comments earlier in the week about how the team should tank, giving some tangible meaning to a predictably lost season in the way of improving its chances in the lottery.
“I hope the Lakers lose every game because if you’re going to lose, lose. I’m serious,” Johnson said at an event in New York, according to Newsday. “If you’re going to lose, you have to lose, because you can’t be in the middle of the pack. You either have to be great or you have to be bad to get a good pick.”
Nick Young, as joyful, brash and loosey-goosey NBA player as they come, reportedly turned uncharacteristically serious when asked about the Lakers legend’s comments regarding rolling over and losing for the sake of losing.
In fact, Young said even thinking about such an objectionable thing doesn’t even make sense at this time, even with the Lakers among the Western Conference cellar-dwellers with a 6-16 record.
“It’s too early to do that right now. I’m going to have to tell Magic to stay at Dodger Stadium for a while,” Young said Wednesday, via a report from The Los Angeles Times. “He’s going to bring that smile around here. I’ll do all the smiling right now.
“I’m [probably] telling Magic, ‘You’ve got to stick with us.’ Magic always has some bold comments. I remember last year he said some crazy things. I’d just tell him, ‘Chill out for a minute’ or I’d have to knock him out once or twice.”
Bold words from a bold man, to be sure, although it warrants mentioningwrites in his report that Young was smiling when making the comments about knocking Magic out.
Kobe Bryant, meanwhile, viewed Johnson’s comments from the point of view of how management or ownership would approach such a topic, as Magic currently is a minority owner with the Los Angeles Dodgers and was at one-time also a minority owner with the Lakers.
“I think the fans are hopefully… well, some of them are probably smart enough to understand his perspective as an owner. I certainly am,” Bryant said. “Magic’s one of the most competitive players of all time. He doesn’t want to lose. From an owner’s perspective, his opinion is to get top picks and to be able to use those as leverage to trade and get a competitive team and so on.”
The general consensus for the Lakers appears to be to simply shrug off Johnson’s comments. Head coach Byron Scott, when asked about his longtime friend’s comments on Tuesday, said that if he were to shoot Johnson a text message regarding his pal’s thoughts on tanking, it would be, “LOL.”
Even though Young soberly addressed Magic’s comments — at least at first — an “LOL” comment similar to his coach’s would be much more in his nature.
(photo credit: AP/Mark J. Terrill)