Apparently, a 15-win season wasn't bad enough to constitute the Los Angeles Lakers hitting rock bottom.
According to a report by ESPN on Tuesday evening, the Los Angeles Lakers have taken to isolating rookie guard D'Angelo Russell with lunchroom tactics like getting up and walking away when he sits down next to a teammate and the team outright refusing to sit at the same table as the 20-year-old for a meal.
Why would a team isolate its future star player to such an advanced degree?
Well, on Friday, a video surfaced on Twitter, and that video consisted of Russell secretly recording teammate Nick Young as he asked the former USC Trojan about women he had been with. Young's answer suggested that the basketball star had cheated on his fiancée, singer Iggy Azalea, with a 19-year-old.
Just a side point, the Swaggy/Iggy wedding was previously postponed for her tour schedule, before this incident — Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) March 30, 2016
A source with knowledge of the situation told NBCLA.com that Russell told Young that his phone had been hacked, but Young and his teammates seemingly could not come to grips with why the 20-year-old would even be secretly recording the private conversation in the first place. The source confirmed that all was not well within the team on the day the video originally leaked.
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hmmm i see D Angelo Russell is trending... I actually liked his film. Thanks bro. — IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) March 30, 2016
That same evening, a group of Lakers surrounded Young and spoke to him privately as the media entered the locker room at the designated locker room access time. When the other players dispersed to the back room of the locker room, where media is not permitted, Young sat alone at his locker. At one point, Young got up and stepped forward to walk into the back room, where Russell was housed, but Young seemingly thought better of a potential pregame confrontation and made a u-turn and returned to the seat facing his locker. The 30-year-old clearly looked distraught and not his usual jovial, joking self.
Then, Young missed Sunday's game with a bout of gastroenteritis, according to the Lakers, which also kept him off the flight to Utah that same night.
On Monday in Salt Lake City, the Lakers completely fell apart on the court, as the Jazz handed out a 48-point beating that tied the worst loss in Lakers' franchise history. According to the ESPN report, the blame for the lopsided defeat in Utah at least partially fell on teammates not being able to "trust" the 20-year-old rookie due to the incident.
The ESPN report also alleged that Lakers' officials were aware of the issue and "dismayed" with Russell, though the team had not yet intervened to break up the isolating actions taken by the players thus far.
Not helping his case with his teammates, Russell ended the video with a curious line that does the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft no favors in the matter.
"I'm glad you told my video all that," Russell is heard saying moments prior to ending the voyeuristic recording.
"Huh?" Young responds, as the video cuts out.
The Los Angeles Lakers host the Miami Heat on Wednesday night at Staples Center, and assuming Young has recovered from his gastroenteritis, both players should be available for the Lakers.