Lakers

Lakers' Nick Young defends girlfriend Iggy Azalea's honor on Twitter

Lakers' Nick Young fires back at ESPN's Robert Flores, who criticized rapper Iggy Azalea's music

Nick Young heard enough about his girlfriend's alleged lack of musical ability, so he lashed out on Twitter at an ESPN anchor who criticized her talent on the air.

Young didn't appreciate Robert Flores saying Sunday that Iggy Azalea was "trying to kill hip-hop."

Young came close to threatening Flores on Twitter by saying, "I'm pretty sure we [sic] going to run into each other soon," in a series of since-deleted tweets. Young also said Flores' job was to talk about sports and "not what me and my chick got going on."

Young revealed Tuesday why he retaliated.

"I snapped into my Kanye [West] mode," he said before the Lakers played Charlotte. "It's, like, been a thing just to talk about her. I get tired of it."

Flores can sleep without worry, though. Young said he wouldn't go after him physically if he saw him. "I might pour some water or Gatorade on him if we won a championship," Young said.

Flores went on a radio show Monday and said he wouldn't be worried if Young came at him, saying "If you look at his numbers, there is a 70% chance that if he takes a shot at me, he's going to miss."

Indeed, Young is shooting at a career-low 36.6% this season. It didn't mean he was done firing at Flores on Tuesday.

"What time did he come on TV, though? Nobody watched, so it was like . . . he needed to say that to get some ratings," Young said, laughing. "It came on like, what, 12 in the morning?"

Young said he wasn't watching ESPN at the time but heard about it from followers of his Instagram account.

It's been a tough year for him not only on the court, but on social media.

Young sent some irritated tweets to Snoop Dogg earlier this season after the rapper poked fun at Azalea's looks without makeup. Young rushed to Azalea's side on Twitter by saying "Ain't nobody worried about no SnoopLion," a reference to another name used by the rapper.

Young feels like he's getting hit from many angles these days.

He was chastised last week by Coach Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant for being part of an exuberant celebration after an overtime victory against Boston. Then came the tiff with Flores.

"People coming at me all day every day," he said Tuesday, smiling. "It's been a history with ESPN. I guess that's how they get ratings, talking about me. I'm a star now. I've got to expect this stuff."

Wait. Young's a star?

"I'm a come-off-the-bench star," he said. "I'm not a LeBron-type star."

Young is in the first season of a four-year, $21.5-million contract. He did not play Tuesday and was expected to miss a fifth consecutive game Wednesday because of a sore knee, Scott said.

Lakers adding player?

The Lakers will ask the NBA for a hardship exception, allowing them to add a 16th player to the roster.

They are currently at the league maximum of 15, but with four players out for the season (Bryant, Steve Nash, Julius Randle and Ronnie Price), the NBA is likely to accede to the request.

The Lakers discussed the matter internally but hadn't decided if they would use the exception if it's granted, according to a team spokesman.

They could look to their own Development League affiliate for talent or to the general free-agent pool, perhaps with a 10-day contract offer. The Lakers could also look at other D-League players who weren't on the L.A. D-Fenders.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

Twitter: Mike_Bresnahan

Times correspondent Eric Pincus contributed to this report from Los Angeles.

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