Once the Los Angeles Lakers were able to sign Nick Young as a free agent in the summer of 2013, many wondered whether he’d be able to fit in with a demanding teammate like Kobe Bryant and a franchise coming off a disappointing stint with similar personality in Dwight Howard.
Howard simply didn’t fit in Los Angeles alongside Kobe with the five-time NBA champion not liking the veteran center’s approach to the game. Dwight never seemed to take anything seriously and that really irked Bryant in their short time together.
Many believed Young might pose a similar problem in comparison to Dwight. Young is always smiling and looking to a get a laugh in postgame interviews, but fortunately, he’s earned Bryant’s respect on the basketball floor regardless.
Head coach Byron Scott has also become found of Young saying the following about what he likes best about his sixth man, via Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
“The one thing Nick does bring is a lot of playfulness and laughter and practice and games. He’s always smiling so you have no choice but to like the kid,” Scott said.”The thing I love about him the most is with all the playfulness that he has, he wants to win. That’s big time.”
As one of the few players on the Lakers Bryant trusts to shoulder the load while he’s on the bench, Young is playing well once again this season. Young averaged a team-high 17.9 points per game last season with Kobe recovering from a season-ending knee injury.
In 13 games this season, Young is instant offense off the bench yet again for the Lakers. The 29-year-old is putting up 15.7 points per game and appears to be getting more and more comfortable with his role on Scott’s squad.
Along with being the offensive spark in the second unit, Bryant and Young seem to be building some chemistry together. Although it is an odd pairing to say the least, the two offensive-minded players appear to have the best chemistry of any two players on the team right now.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Lakers can keep things going after winning two straight with solid performances from both Young and Bryant. Los Angeles will face off against the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night in the final game of a three-game road trip.
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