Former Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Nick Young has been in the news lately for somewhat odd reasons.
The former baller is seemingly trying to get his boxing career off the ground, and he has been spitballing people from his past that he would like to face off against. A few days ago, he mentioned Minnesota Timberwolves guard and former teammate D’Angelo Russell as a possible competitor.
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) September 2, 2022
Russell appeared to bat the offer aside, seemingly claiming that Young was using his name to remain relevant.
My name keep dude relevant, and I’m going to grave with “I ain’t do that shit”#CarryOn
— D'Angelo Russell (@Dloading) September 4, 2022
Young also mentioned another former member of the Lakers franchise as a possible opponent.
“And Young wasn’t finished,” Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated wrote. “’Some guys on the Lakers,’ Young told me. ‘Some guys on the Warriors.’
“’Luke Walton,’ Young said.
“His ex-Lakers coach?
“’That would be an easy one,’ said Young. ‘That would be a first-round knockout.’”
It sounds like Young is grasping at straws when it comes to people that he’d want to face in the ring. Chances are that not a single person he mentions ends up taking on Young in a match.
Though boxing was once one of America’s most popular sports, it has since become something of a sideshow in many ways. Now, the most publicized bouts seem to be between retired athletes and social media celebrities. Young is clearly trying to get in on that trend.
Though his desire to fight Walton is somewhat a surprise, his desire to get into the ring with Russell is less of a mystery. Of course, the two were embroiled in major off-court drama during their playing days together.
As the story goes, Russell seemingly caught Young in a video admitting that he cheated on then-fiancée Iggy Azalea. The drama caused a major rift within the Lakers locker room.
“It’s bad,” one team source told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne at the time. “It’s about as bad as it can get. There were trust issues already. Now there’s no trust.”
It’s clear that hatchet was never buried, and while Young may want to act out his revenge in the ring, it doesn’t seem like that’s ever going to happen.
As for Walton, he likely has no interest in battling Young either.