While the Los Angeles Lakers missed the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, the 2018 NBA Finals had a strong presence of the organization’s former players. Among them was Nick Young, who just completed his first season with the Golden State Warriors.
Prior to signing a one-year contract with the defending champions last July, Young spent four seasons playing for the Lakers. There were turbulent times but also plenty of laughs as the USC product spent a portion of his career alongside Kobe Bryant.
The five-time champion doesn’t have a personality that can be described as similar to Young’s easy-going demeanor, which made for memorable moments. One such incident was Bryant throwing a pair of his Adidas signature shoes in the trash when Young asked that he autograph them.
But perhaps the most comical exchange between the former teammates is one that never actually happened.
After the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 to complete a sweep, Young revealed he saw Bryant in his dream and received advice, David Aldridge of NBA.com:
Of course, @NickSwagyPYoung had a dream last night. He said @kobebryant told him, “‘don’t get too excited.’ I told him, we’re up 3-0.” He said ‘I don’t care.’ I said, ‘but I got KD. KD is like Thanos.’l
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) June 9, 2018
That Bryant would stress to Young he must remain focused is hardly a surprise. He never relented until the Lakers had finished off their championship runs, no matter how dominant or comfortable of a series lead they may have held.
Signed under the idea he would be a potent scorer off the bench, Young averaged just 7.3 points per game and 1.5 made 3-pointers. His 17.4 minutes were the lowest of Young’s career since his 2007-08 rookie season with the Washington Wizards.
The 33-year-old appeared in each of the Warriors’ 21 playoff games but only averaged 2.6 points in 10.3 minutes. Young will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
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