D'Angelo Russell's rookie season ended in disarray, as a secretly recorded cell phone video recorded by the teenager seemingly exposed teammate Nick Young as an adulterer.
Across the NBA and beyond, Russell became the butt of jokes. On TNT's popular "Inside the NBA" show, former Laker Shaquille O'Neal would scream out "D'Angelo Russell Studios" every time the production team showed behind the scenes videos of the crew at work.
After taking a public beating for his directorial debut, the former Ohio State University Buckeye finally managed to have a bit of fun with the incident in a new Foot Locker commercial.
In the ad, Russell's former high school teammate Ben Simmons walks into a room of 2015 draftees and asks, "Any advice now that I've been drafted?"
Karl-Anthony Towns, who won 2015-16 Rookie of the Year, tells the incoming Simmons that being drafted "Doesn't mean a thing" and that "Now the real work starts."
Phoenix Suns' top pick of 2015, Devin Booker, adds, "That's right, nothing comes easy anymore."
Then, Simmons, who will reportedly go no. 1 in Thursday's 2016 NBA Draft, looks to Russell and asks, "Anything else I should know, D'Angelo?"
With an outstretched hand, Russell asks, "You got a phone?"
Simmons hands Russell his phone, and Russell proceeds to toss it out of an open window and into a body of water outside. Simmons looks at Russell with his palms facing the ceiling and a look of confusion.
"Trust me," Russell responds and grabs a seat.
Real funny — Nick Young (@NickSwagyPYoung) June 21, 2016
With Young's recent breakup with Iggy Azalea going public, the aggrieved basketball star did not appear to be thrilled at Russell's commercial spot. Of course, there is no way to prove Young's "Real Funny" Tweet was directly related to the advertisement, but the internet assumed it was.
Whether it is right or wrong to joke about a sensitive incident that likely played a major role in breaking off Young's engagement with Azalea and created divides inside the Lakers' locker room, Russell appears to have advanced to the point where he can joke about the incident.