Nick Young destroys D’Angelo Russell: ‘The snitch let [the Lakers] down’

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young took a shot at Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell after Los Angeles was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round this season by the Denver Nuggets.

“They depended on D-Lo, and that’s just — you’re asking to lose,” said Young. “You’re asking to lose right there, placing your faith in that. What do you expect? They put their faith in the snitch, and the snitch let you down.”

Russell and Young have a rocky history, as Russell infamously snitched on Young for cheating on singer Iggy Azalea which led to the couple breaking up. Back in 2020, Young called Russell the most annoying teammate that he’s ever played with.

The incident led to the Lakers trading Russell – the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft – to the Brooklyn Nets. Russell went on to earn an All-Star nod with the Nets, and he played for the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves before getting traded back to Los Angeles during the 2022-23 season.

Los Angeles was eliminated by Denver in just five games in the first round, but the defending champs have been a tough team to beat for multiple seasons, winning the NBA title in the 2022-23 campaign.

Right now, the Nuggets are up 3-2 on the Timberwolves in the second round of the playoffs after winning three straight games, including Game 5 in Denver on Tuesday night. Those teams will play Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals on Thursday night.

Russell struggled in the 2022-23 season against Denver in the playoffs, but he had some stronger performances in the first round of the playoffs this season.

In Game 2, Russell scored 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc, but the Lakers ended up losing by two on a Jamal Murray game-winning shot.

Where Russell let the Lakers down, as Young believes, was in Game 3 in Los Angeles. The lefty guard failed to score in that game, shooting 0-for-7 from the field. It was one of two dreadful shooting performances from Russell in the series, as he also shot just 6-for-20 from the field in Game 1.

Russell rebounded in Game 4, scoring 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting, helping the Lakers avoid a sweep. Still, Denver went on to win the series – on another Murray game-winning shot – in Game 5.

Young’s distaste for Russell may have gone into his criticism, but the Lakers guard did play better than he did in the Western Conference Finals last season where he averaged just 6.3 points per game across four games.

Russell’s future with the Lakers is in question a bit, as he could decline his player option to become a free agent this coming offseason. It was recently reported that the Lakers will look to sign him to a one-year deal to make him easier to trade.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.