Nick Young left the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency over the summer to chase a ring with the Golden State Warriors, but it sounds like it’s not because he didn’t enjoy his time in L.A., despite some ups and downs.
One of those highlights was the chance to play with Kobe Bryant, who in addition to being one of the greatest players of all-time, was also Young’s childhood idol as he grew up in Los Angeles.
Young didn’t get to spend a lot of game minutes with Bryant, but he didn’t have to in order to get a chance to experience the nearly maniacal, remorseless competitiveness Bryant was known for throughout his NBA career.
During a recent appearance with Mark Medina on the “Planet Dubs” podcast, Young suggested it’s what he remembers most about his time playing with Bryant:
“It was great to be able to play with somebody like that. One of the best players, in my eyes, to play this game. I’ve got a story that I can tell my kids that he broke my thumb. He was talking trash like he didn’t believe it was really hurt. He thought I was playing. I went and got it checked, and I told him, ‘They said it was broken. How do you feel about that?’ And he said, ‘Oh, my bad.’”
That is possibly the most casual reaction to the revelation that you broke someone’s thumb, but it’s also not exactly an unexpected one from Bryant. He would literally play through broken digits and countless other maladies throughout his career.
Plus, as Young mentions, Bryant breaking his thumb in practice will be a story he’s able to tell forever, an easy answer to what he’ll remember most about playing with one of the greatest players ever.
With their vastly different personalities, Bryant and Young made for a bit of an odd couple as teammates. There was a time the five-time champion ripped into Young and his other Lakers teammates, unleashing a profanity-laced tirade in practice, and Bryant once threw Young’s Adidas shoes in the trash can.
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