Last season, Nick Young was one of the biggest reclamation projects in the entire NBA. Young went from almost being released to becoming the Lakers starting shooting guard and being one of the best three-point shooters in the league.
After the season, Young opted out of the final year of his contract and ultimately signed with the Golden State Warriors on a one-year deal. Well before then, however, Young realized his time in Los Angeles was likely done.
Young appeared on the ‘We Want Tacos’ podcast with Mark Medina and Bill Oram and said seeing Kyle Kuzma being presented with the no. 0 jersey was a pretty clear sign:
“Once I saw my number being given away, I knew it was pretty much over,” Young said on Sunday after playing in a Drew League pickup game. “That was a giveaway right there.”
While Young admits he was a little hurt by the move, he’s fine with it as long as Kuzma keeps up his level of play:
“He’s been playing well. But the first day, I thought ‘Dang they going to do me like that in L.A.?’” Young said. “I was a little hurt. But it is what it is, as long as he’s representing that No. 0 well.”
Kuzma has certainly been up to the task so far as he is averaging 20.5 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting a Nick Young-like 45 percent from three-point range. His play has many wondering if he can crack the Lakers’ rotation despite the crowded frontcourt.
As for Young, he will get his chance to compete for an NBA title with the defending champion Warriors. His time with the Lakers had its ups and downs but definitely ended on a high note. Now the pressure will be on Kuzma to carry on the legacy of the great no. 0 jersey.