The 2015-16 NBA season was a rough one for Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young, as poor play coupled with being out of favor with head coach Byron Scott led to Young falling out of the rotation entirely.
He then dealt with an issue with teammate D’Angelo Russell that cost him his engagement with then-fiance Iggy Azalea, so last year was a year that Young would like to forget.
After the season had ended, there were rumors that the Lakers would try to trade or waive Young, as he still had two years remaining on a four-year contract.
According to Baxter Holmes of ESPN, Young recently admitted that after last season he thought he was going to be cut:
“I just didn’t think I was going to be here,” Young said. “I knew I was probably going to play somewhere, but I thought for sure I’d probably get bought out or traded or just cut, period, and I’d have to try out somewhere.”
Young remained on the roster when training camp rolled around though, and after working hard in the offseason, Young came into camp motivated to earn a roster spot.
Not only did his play earn him a roster spot, but he has started each of the Lakers 13 games so far.
Young talked about how it feels to be back playing well under a new head coach, Luke Walton, via Holmes:
“It’s great,” he said. “This is home. I grew up here [in Los Angeles]. I was a little disappointed how everything ended last year, the last two years. [But] Coach has given me the ultimate confidence and [his] believing in me, it makes me want to run through a wall for him.”
Just by looking at Young you can see the difference from last season, as he is back to cracking jokes in the locker room and smiling on the court, something that wasn’t seen very often last season.