Thursday, 15 December 2016
#CourtsideColumn BAND OF BRODIES
1000 words. They say that's how much a picture is worth. Definitly more than 30 characters. Look at the one above. Look at these two. Look at them last season. Look at them now!
We and our timelines all know last season D'Angelo Russell leaked a video he filmed of an unaware Nick Young admitting he had cheated on then fiancee rapper Iggy Azalea all over social media. And as that and this story went viral two key cogs in the purple and gold Lakers machine looked like they were about to fall out. Lakers 'Sixth Man' Nick Young looked like he was ready to jump down sophomore star D'Angelo Russell's throat like when Woody Harrelson found out that Matthew McConaughey broke the partners rule on 'True Detective'. Whilst everyone was calling and labelling the young twentysomething a snitch like this was jail with little regard for the fact that his teammate over 30 had done the nasty on his blushing-ly embarrassed bride to be. But alas this is nobodies business but the individuals concerned. Cue Kermit and some Lipton.
Either way fans and rivals, not to mention player peers believed the then rookie Russell had broken the locker room code and honour. Showing a bad example as a teammate. But now D'Angelo couldn't look like a better one. Leading the post-Kobe (another great guarded guard...no stranger to things of controversy) Lakers back to the promised land Hollywood couldn't even script. Not just playing on the same team as a Laker that almost didn't make the cut, before a matured and grown Young (don't call him Swaggy anymore) waved goodbye to the waivers with the resurgent play of the player he should have always been. But on court, in the same starting line-up, as just in the nick of time Young has solved the Lou Will 6 man debate by breaking into the first five.
So D'Angelo Russell and Nick Young are running together. Side-by-side, for better or worse. In injury sickness and clutch game health. And these two are acting like nothing has happened or theres a job for them between Manhattan and Brooklyn across the Hudson after the NBA for all the bridges they've been building. Because these guys have been passing and shooting together as the most consistent players in a youth in revolt, but raw Lakers unit. Remember Young joking with Russell that he had ice (or swag) in his veins too after stealing a game-winner from Lou Williams, before joining him on the bed sore spreading injury list of the Lakers which surely resulted in more familiar territory bonding? And now they're both back together, just look at that picture. Point Guard D. Loading picking and pulling up his veteran Uncle P off the floor. Not only are they both back...they've got each others too.
Laker fans have got to love this even if you wonder how they're handling an 8 game losing streak. That this game in question increased in Brooklyn against a bad team who seemingly haven't seen any real nets since they were in New Jersey. Even in these purple bruised times the Lakers are seeing some gold shines in this repaired relationship. Showing anything is possible and everything can be brought back. Even if young, great former player/coach Luke Walton is $15K lighter for finally breaking that family trademark, nice-guy cool and dropping some almost threatening, tirading F bombs at referees after they called DeMarcus Cousin man-handling of former Kentucky alumni Julius Randle in favour of the more established superstar. Say what you will about Luke's un-Walton's like outburst but it just showed how down he was for his team and players no matter the odds. He wouldn't stand for his guys being disrespected. Sounds like a real coach. Sounds like 15 thousand dollars well spent.
That's how loyal these new passed over Lakers are 1 through 15. With a base so talented the club couldn't bring Ant Brown or Yi Jialian with them into this new season. Still it's all family. Like Larry Nance Jr. showing how he can get up like dad, like father, like dunk of the year with his latest zero G slam taking flight on a runway to the All-Star contest. From the rock Randle to the fluid Jordan Clarkson. All-Star Luol Deng and champion Timofey Mozgov. The two international guards Calderon and Huertas. The two Sixth Men who could have their year. And of course the rookie...Brandon Ingram.
Write them off now and they'll underline your name later because this really does look like a young team for the coming of the ages. But from the dime to the clutch they are going to need both a grown up Young and matured Russell to lead the way in different ones. But the only way number one and zero can do this before the buzzer counts down and rings out is together.
You got a phone? You won't need it. Soon the whole worlds going to see all these two do. Go tell somehody!
Brodies?! Nah...brothers. TIM DAVID HARVEY.