“Nick, are you playing tomorrow?” Chris Kaman interrupted Nick Young’s interview during Saturday’s Los Angeles Lakers practice.
“Yea, Brother,” Young responded.
“I love it! I love it! I love it!” Kaman screamed as he walked off the practice floor.
After a win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night, the Lakers’ spirits were high at Saturday’s practice. The additions of Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks had instantly translated to an influx of energy, youth and athleticism. Most importantly, Bazemore and Brooks had delivered a win.
“Bring more energy,” Bazemore responded when asked how he could build on his debut with the Lakers.
With Young set to return on Sunday and Xavier Henry practicing on the court, the Lakers finally looked like a team that had depth. Young said he welcomed the competition, and he was especially happy to see Henry get up and dunk the basketball during Saturday's session.
Pau Gasol, who had only returned to game action on Sunday, said he was not hampered by any injuries and felt strong one day after his return. He, like everyone else, was impressed by the two new kids.
“They brought energy, you know, great play, aggressiveness, freshness, so it was key for us to win,” Gasol said about Brooks and Bazemore.
Initially, the two additions were widely believed to be useless pieces acquired to dump salary. After only one game, Bazemore and Brooks had proven they could play and help the team. However, their ability to consistently provide energy, defense and productivity remains to be seen.
For Sunday’s game, though, Young’s return should reduce minutes for Brook and Bazemore in the second unit.
“I don’t know what it was,” Young joked he was unaware that he had suffered a fractured kneecap.
When told the timeline for recovery was pretty fast, Young knocked on the hardwood and responded, “It was a miracle.”
After sitting on the sidelines for over two weeks, Young was back smiling and speaking his own language, “My main thing is to play as hard as I can and ‘swag’ out.”
Before he finished his time with the media, Young was asked how Bazemore and Brooks could succeed in the Lakers’ system.
“Just give me the ball,” Young said and ended the interview.