BREAKING NEWS
L.A. Now

Nick Young admits to frustration, sprains ankle in practice

Nick Young admits frustration after being benched for second half against Houston Rockets

Nick Young didn't play a single minute in the second half of the Lakers' 99-87 loss Sunday to the Houston Rockets, finishing the game without a point.

Coach Byron Scott said he didn't feel as if Young wanted to be there, questioning his effort defensively and body language in general.

"He's the coach.  He's seen what he's seen.  It's not my place to get into that really," said Young after practice Monday.  "I'm not in a situation to go back and forth with the coach because I would never play."

Was Scott's perception accurate?

"There ain't a day [that goes] by that I don't want to be out on the court," said Young.  "I love being here.  I love playing basketball.  I get a joy out of playing and seeing the fans, hearing them chant 'Swaggy P.'

"That's what drives me."

Young admitted he didn't enjoy the benching against the Rockets.

"It was very frustrating.  It just brought back some old memories of being a [rookie with the Washington Wizards]," he said.  "I guess he wants the best for me.  I came in today with the mind-set of not having no negativity, still trying to keep my upbeat self."

"We've only won 12 games this year, losing can catch up to you," Young continued.  "I'm still a human being.  I'm still trying to fight.  At the same time, you get tired of being beat up.  It can catch up to you."

To make matters worse, the high-scoring guard-forward suffered a right ankle sprain near the end of practice, which could put his status on Tuesday in jeopardy when the Lakers (12-33) host the Wizards (30-15).

"I'll just wait and see," said Young, who acknowledged the ankle was throbbing.  "I'm a solider."

The hits keep coming for the Lakers.  Kobe Bryant will undergo surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff on Wednesday.

Young has already found it difficult to play without Bryant; that's not going to improve.

"Last night [the Rockets] double-teamed me every time I came off pick and rolls," said Young.  "It's tough but we've got to go out there and still fight, still gotta give fans a show.  It's a chance for other people to step up now."

Always the optimist, Young had a message for his teammates in the absence of Bryant.

"Just give me the ball and get out of the way." 

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
49°