Nick Young’s time with the his hometown Los Angeles Lakers was a roller coaster to say the least. Under previous head coach Mike D’Antoni, Young thrived in the coach’s offensive system, but when the Lakers chose to go in another direction and hire former Lakers player Byron Scott to lead the team things did not go as planned.
Young’s style of play did not quite mesh well with Scott’s offensive approach, which forced Young to watch from the bench. Last season under Luke Walton however, Young began to play like his old self and earned a spot in the starting lineup. He would enjoy a bounceback season, shooting over 40 percent from three-point range and showing an improved focus on defense.
Coming off one of his best seasons, and with the Lakers focused on developing their young players, Young decided to opt-out of the final season of his contract. He had a few suitors, but ultimately chose to join the defending champion Golden State Warriors, officially ending his time with his hometown team.
There may still be another chapter in Los Angeles for Young, however. According to Mark Medina of the OC Register Young said that he could come back and retire with the Lakers, with a couple of NBA legends of course:
“I love LA. I might be back and retire here one day,” said Young, who is entering his 11th NBA season. “I’ll come back with Kobe, MJ (Michael Jordan) and LeBron (James).”
Young was clearly joking, but this is an example of why Young was a favorite among fans. No matter how bad things got he always found a way to make light of the situation. His decision to join the already stacked Warriors team gives him by far his best chance at winning a championship ring.
Although it was a tumultuous ride hopefully one day he look back on his time with the Lakers and cherish the opportunity to play for his hometown team. Many players dream of playing in front of their hometown but very few get the chance and at least Young can say he was able to do that.