Lakers need Nick Young to do what he does best — score

The Lakers signed Nick Young presumably to replace Metta World Peace as the team’s starting small forward.

“I felt this was one of the best opportunities that I had,” said Young on the Max and Marcellus Show on ESPN LA (710 AM) on Friday. “Get out there in the spotlight, playing the game I love.”

With Kobe Bryant recovering from an Achilles’ tendon injury, Young might need to help carry the team’s scoring load until Bryant is back in form.

“They wanted to go young and athletic,” said Young. “They told me I was going to play three when Kobe gets back. When he’s not there, they’re going to mismatch me at two/three.”

The 6-foot-7 guard/forward is better known for his offense (he averaged a career-best 17.4 points while with the Washington Wizards in 2010-11) rather than his ability as a defender.


“I gave [the Lakers] my word I’m going to try,” he said of playing defense. “But, they’re not bringing me here for what I don’t do -- they brought me here for what I do.”

Young grew up in the area, attending Cleveland High in Reseda before playing three years at USC. He looks forward to being back home, even if it comes with additional distractions.

“I kind of learned from being here with the Clippers,” he said. “I know what type of opportunity I’ve got. I know this is a big year for me. I’ve just got to buckle down, lock in and get ready.”

Young played briefly with the Clippers in 2012, helping the team get past the first round of the playoffs in a hard-fought, seven-game series with the Memphis Grizzlies.

After a year with the Philadelphia 76ers, he’s back in Los Angeles -- this time with a bigger role as part of the Lakers.


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