Nick Young of the Los Angeles Lakers announces his return from injury at practice on March 20, 2014.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers finally received some good news. Nick Young was back, and Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni confirmed that Young would definitely be back for Friday’s game against the Washington Wizards.
“Ain’t too much Swaggy can’t do out there, you know,” Young explained that he was cleared to play. “I feel good, so that’s the reason I want to get back out there.”
Young missed 17 of the last 18 games due to a knee injury, and the Lakers have missed his personality on the court and in practices.
“I’ll be out there against the Wizards,” Young said before admitting that playing his former team provided an extra source of motivation.
With regards to motivation, however, Young explained that his primary drive was history—not making history, to be more specific.
“We just got to finish this year off not being the worst team in Laker history,” Young said. “I talked to Pau (Gasol) about it, and he’s been on me about coming back. So I’m trying to come back and help the team out.”
The worst Lakers team in Los Angeles history was the 1974-75 Lakers, and they finished with a record of 30-52. The current group sits at 22-45, so they need to collect eight wins in their last 15 games to avoid the dishonor. Truthfully, even Young's return does not help their chances all that much.
Young was also asked about comments co-owner Jeanie Buss made on Time Warner Cable supporting Young’s style and spirit on the court.
“That’s big” Young responded with a smile. “Telling you, I’m doing big things out here.”
Throughout his time with the Lakers, the former USC Trojan kept a positive demeanor and provided laughs.
“I’m just going to be out there doing my thing, smiling. I’ll probably get a Tech out there tomorrow,” Young laughed.
Considering he may only be a Laker for 15 more games, fans should enjoy his energy for the final 15 games of the season.
Notes: D’Antoni also revealed that Jordan Hill was expected to be available on Friday after six games on the sidelines with a sore knee. D'Antoni also said Chris Kaman will undergo an MRI on his foot. Kaman was scratched from Wednesday’s game and was not visible on the bench in the second half against the Spurs. The Lakers took their team photo before practice, but Hill was not pictured. Steve Nash took part in practice, and D’Antoni revealed that Nash’s return this season was a possibility. However, nothing was set in stone regarding the Canadian's comeback.