Most people would assume that the relationship between Kobe Bryant and Nick Young would be strained due to the fact they’re polar opposites. Kobe is about as serious and determined as any player in the history of the NBA while Young takes a more comical approach that would lead many to assume Bryant wouldn’t see eye-to-eye with the Lakers sixth man.
Ironically enough, Kobe seems to be quite fond of Young. The five-time NBA champion has seemingly taken him under his wing over the past few months and has only had good things to say about his teammate.
Kobe said the following about Young following the team’s second practice under new head coach Byron Scott, via Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:
Bryant said Nick Young is "taking the challenge" in practice, not backing down from him. He's a Swaggy fan. Kobe also impressed by Johnson.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 1, 2014
Only two practices into Lakers training camp and Scott may have already changed the culture in Los Angeles. The former NBA Coach of the Year has taken a no nonsense approach to practice with an emphasis on defense and conditioning. Scott wants his players in great shape and ready to earn minutes while being accountability for their play on the basketball floor.
So far, it appears that Kobe has bought into Scott’s philosophy which could prove to be contagious for players like Young that truly want to make an impression next season.
Along with praising Young for “not backing down,” Kobe is also been impressed with Wesley Johnson in practice thus far. Johnson will be entering a make-or-break season as the former lottery pick aims to prove his worth after signing another one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum.[divide]
Lakers Practice Report: Kobe, ‘I’ve NEVER Run This Much In An NBA Practice’