The Los Angeles Lakers met at their El Segundo practice facility on Thursday in what most expect to be the penultimate practice of the season, and Nick Young offered some added insight into his future beyond the current NBA season.
First, though, as is customary every time the Lakers gather, bodies had to be counted and injuries had to be updated.
Steve Nash was feeling better, but he was doubtful for Friday’s game. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni hinted that Nash could be back on Sunday and possibly play the final three games of the season. With Nash, however, nothing is guaranteed. From the sounds of Thursday’s practice, Nash should return to the court this season.
Chris Kaman, who was missing his usual free flowing beard, was out for Friday’s game. Kaman said shaving his beard had been a “mistake” and that he would have a new beard before next season.
Pau Gasol, the Lakers’ first-choice starter at center, was also not expected to play on Friday against the Golden State Warriors.
Jordan Farmar, who only returned to the Lakers on Tuesday following a long stretch on the sidelines, said he was good to go and felt no ill effects from playing against the Rockets.
“It felt good to play basketball,” Farmar said before laughing off suggestions that he should be concerned about possibly reinjuring himself before the summer.
With the injuries handled, Nick Young’s uncertain future took center stage.
“I’ll probably give more tickets out,” Young said when asked about whether he was more emotional going into what could be his final four games with the Lakers. “That’s about it.”
Young admitted he had given thought to the idea that the upcoming stretch of games could be the last four times he dresses the Lakers’ colors.
“Just wearing that purple and gold, you know, it’s been great. It’s been amazing. Especially to share the same locker room as Kobe (Bryant) and pick his brain a little bit,” Young said.
Young, who holds a player option to return next season in his contract, is expected to opt out and hit the open market for more money. Although he acknowledged the financial components in play, Young sounded like he wanted to be back in LA.
“Of course, I want to be here and be part of a team that’s going to the playoffs and fighting for championships,” Young said. “Being part of that Laker parade and having my own little speech like Shaq did: ‘Can you dig it?’”
Young said he was “confident” that the front office and the player could come to some agreement.
The LA-native reminded reporters, “This is home. I would love to finish off here, as a Laker.”