Lakers' Nick Young is not his usual upbeat self after loss

Lakers' Nick Young is not his usual upbeat self after loss
Lakers Coach Byron Scott, left, speaks with small forward Nick Young during a game against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Nick Young is the master of self-appointed nicknames, maker of off-the-cuff monikers unlike anyone since Shaquille O'Neal left the business.

But there's one person that refuses to call him "Swaggy P." Or, his latest incarnation, "IDM," an acronym for I Don't Miss.


"I told him I'm not going to call him Swaggy anymore. Your mama named you Nick, I'm going to call you Nick," Lakers Coach Byron Scott said.

If Scott is a throwback to the old NBA days, when players let their game do the talking, Young personifies the present-day NBA. And then some.

The loquacious Lakers forward has become a must-see after games, a walking quotation mark who seems to drive his coach in all different directions.

"Heavenly Father broke the mold when he made him," Scott said.

Scott tries to get mad at Young sometimes. Tough to do, he'll admit, despite Young's wild shot selection and hot-and-cold defense.

"He's always smiling, so you have no choice but to almost like the kid," Scott said. "But like I told him today, when you hear me say 'Nicholas,' that means I'm pretty [ticked] off at you. It's only happened two or three times so far."

Young isn't always so jolly. He sometimes gets annoyed after losses, giving only a quick comment or two to reporters before leaving the locker room.

He seemed more sad than mad after the Lakers' 110-91 loss Monday to the Indiana Pacers. He had 18 points, completing a personally successful three-game trip in which he hit the game-deciding three-pointer against San Antonio in overtime. It was from 30 feet. Of course.

But the Lakers trailed by 33 at halftime against Indiana, their worst deficit at the break since moving to Los Angeles in 1960.

It was a sharp about-face from Sunday's victory over Minnesota in which Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan for third on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

Young even sighed while talking about the eminently quieter environment Monday.

"Everything was about Kobe [on Sunday]. You could see all the cameras, everybody tweeting, he was trending everywhere. I kind of got into it," he said. "And [Monday], it was like … no more cameras around, no NBA TV following us. That could have been a part of it."