Rookie D'Angelo Russell, the focus of the Lakers' latest off-the-court hurricane, talked to reporters Wednesday evening after declining to comment earlier in the day.
"It wasn't my intention. We joked around. We played around all the time, say crazy things -- this just got in the wrong hands," Russell said at the news conference.
Some Lakers players are irritated with Russell after a video he secretly recorded showed teammate Nick Young talking about women other than his fiancee, Iggy Azalea.
"I don't want to get into my personal life right now," Young told reporters at the news conference.
The video was surreptitiously shot a couple of months ago, according to a person with knowledge of it, and could further drive a wedge between an already staggering team with a 15-59 record.
Some of Russell's teammates are "ticked off" at him, according to a person familiar with the situation, believing he violated an unwritten code with the secret video.
It was unclear who released the video to a celebrity gossip site or why it took so long to be publicized from the time Russell shot it.
Russell has apologized to Young, The Times has learned, and Young has accepted it. There was some speculation if Young would hold a grudge, apparently not. Young isn't an angry/confrontational person. In that sense only, Russell might have caught a break.
Earlier in the day, Lakers Coach Byron Scott grew tired after taking a handful of questions from reporters about Russell and threatened to end the interview unless questions were basketball-related.
"It's an internal problem, we'll handle it from in-house," he said before his voice rose sharply. "If you want to ask me about the Miami game that we're playing tonight, let's talk about Miami and basketball. If not, then this interview is basically over with."
Earlier in the interview, Scott said he hadn't sat down with Russell.
"Haven't talked to him, won't talk to him," Scott said. "That's an internal matter that our guys will deal with. Just going to leave it at that."
Internal discord didn't play a part in the Lakers tying a team record with a 48-point loss Monday to Utah, Scott said.
"We played very badly. That's what I think that game was all about," he said.
After Wednesday's shoot-around, three security guards walked Russell to his car in the private parking lot at the team training facility, an apparent attempt to keep reporters from him.
Young would be healthy enough to play Wednesday night against Miami, Scott said, after the Lakers forward did not attend Monday's game because he had intestinal flu-like symptoms, the team said.
Young is engaged to Azalea but appeared to acknowledge meeting another woman at a club in the dimly lit video shot by Russell.
"You was 30 and she was 19?" Russell asked Young in an apparent reference to the age difference between Young and the woman. Young did not know he was being filmed.
"D'Angelo is sometimes 20 going on 14," said a person familiar with the situation who declined to speak publicly. "They've all been trying to prank each other this season. This was a stupid prank."
Young and Lakers teammate Jordan Clarkson made headlines last week when they were accused of harassing a woman and her 68-year-old mother while driving in Hollywood.
An internal Lakers investigation was inconclusive, saying there were "different interpretations of what happened."
Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft, had an unremarkable rookie season until an eight-game burst that started at the end of last month. He averaged 23.3 points over that span but faded the last two weeks and scored only five points on two-for-11 shooting against Utah.
Just the same, Scott recently complimented Russell for improving his attitude.
"He works harder in practice now," Scott said earlier this month. "I think the light for him has kind of come on. Before we start practice, he's a little bit of a clown at times, he has his fun, which is great.
"When he starts practice, he's serious. He works. As long as he can separate the two, I'm good with it."
There are eight games left in the Lakers' season, including Wednesday's. They are on pace to finish with the worst winning percentage in their 68-year history.
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