The 2022-23 Los Angeles Lakers have quite a few problems on their hands as they start their current campaign off. Things are pretty bad for the Lakers right now, but they may not be as bad as they were for the team back during the 2015-16 season when Nick Young was recorded by D'Angelo Russell saying that he cheated on his fiancee Iggy Azalea. The clip ended up on the internetB and divided the Lakers' locker room for the rest of the season.
Young reveals Kobe's thoughts on his controversy with D'Angelo Russell
The Lakers were toast after this incident, which ultimately changed their franchise's trajectory. The Lakers would eventually trade Russell to the Brooklyn Nets, which was a major loss for L.A. considering they used the second overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft on him, and it forced their rebuild to be delayed by a few seasons. Everything eventually worked out, as Los Angeles won a title in the 2020 NBA Finals, but things didn't look great for the Lakers during this time.
Russell faced a lot of backlash for his actions, but Young had an even worse go of it, and for good reason. Everyone on the Lakers had to deal with this incident, with Lakers legend Kobe Bryant also being forced to deal with the team's internal drama. Young says that Bryant was locked in on basketball despite everything else going on with the team, but opened up on the advice that Bryant gave him in the aftermath of the incident.
Bryant didn't want to get involved in the drama between Young and D'Angelo Russell
Bryant often tried to stay out of drama throughout his career, but he knew what it was like to see your personal life get exposed for the rest of the world to see, as he was charged with sexual assault earlier in his career in 2003. At the same time, Bryant didn't want to get too involved in this issue, and since he was nearing the end of his career, he was more focused on basketball than this dust-up between his teammates.
"He said it was messed up, but you know, Kobe is all about basketball. Don't let it distract you, he told me to fix home first."
Young says that Bryant didn't agree with Russell's actions and advised Young to get his family life settled before focusing on basketball. Bryant knew firsthand that these off-the-court issues could be devastating, and while he wasn't justifying Young's actions, he found a way to support a teammate who was going through a tough time.
Bryant always did his best to help others out, even when it wasn't necessarily something he wanted to get involved in, and this short tidbit from Young shows just that. This could have been something that Bryant didn't get involved in, but he still managed to make an impact on a bad situation, which is just another example of his larger-than-life impact on the NBA.