With a young roster full of players unknown to the general public, this season was a chance for a number of players to make a name for themselves with the Lakers.
Arguably no one has made a bigger name for himself than Nick Young.
Young jumped at the chance to play for his hometown team, with his favorite player growing up. Young spoke to SLAM Magazine about loving the Lakers, and Kobe Bryant when he was younger:
When I was growing up, coming to practice I was always saying, I’m Kobe today. I’d shoot fadeaways saying, Kobe! I’ve always been a Lakers fan, so for me to come here and be in my hometown and see the fans calling me ‘Swaggy P,’ it’s been a dream come true.
It’s always special when a player gets to star for the team he grew up loving. It creates a special bond between the player and the fans, much like the one between Chicago Bulls fans, and injured point guard Derrick Rose.
Very few players, however, get to play for their favorite team, while their favorite player is still playing. That fact is not lost on Young and he is learning as much as he can from Bryant:
I don’t want to be too much on the bandwagon, but I still love him. I still talk to him. He’s been mentoring me here and there. That part has been great. Who wouldn’t want to learn from Kobe?
Young always seems like the happiest player on the court, and it’s easy to see why. Even though Bryant has struggled to stay on the court this season, Young has had the chance to develop a great relationship with his idol, and that is reason enough to smile.
Nick Young Talks All-Star Break And His Look-ALike On The Jumbotron