Trans. Dec 8 9:05 ET (Dec 8 9:05 ET ) There was quite a bit of cackling to be heard when the Los Angeles Lakers signed shooting guard Nick Young during the offseason, as the former Wizards, Clippers and 76ers gunner has a quite the reputation as a mercurial chucker, and those sorts of players don't often tend to get along with someone like Kobe Bryant.
(Even though Kobe, if we're honest, has had his bouts with mercurial chucking.)
The pressing question, even if the Lakers are far from championship contenders, was whether or not Bryant and Kobe could co-exist either in the same Laker backcourt, or merely on the same bench once Bryant returned from his Achilles tear. Bryant did return on Sunday, but luckily for Nick, Kobe was on the Los Angeles pine when he attempted whatever the hell this was:
Kobe Bryant will make his long-awaited return from a torn left Achilles tendon when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night. In a dramatic video posted on his Facebook page before the Lakers played at Sacramento on Friday night, Bryant set his much-anticipated comeback date. Lakers announce Kobe's return.'' The video shows Bryant's No. 24 jersey flapping in the wind. Finally, words flash across the screen that read, ''The Legend Continues...December 8.'' ''That's something special right there,'' Lakers teammate Nick Young quipped when a reporter showed him the video on his smartphone in the locker room.
COMMENTARY | As the sports world awaits the return of superstar Kobe Bryant from a devastating Achilles injury that's sidelined him for the start of the 2013-14 season, the Los Angeles Lakers are enjoying the noticeable effort and subsequent career resurgence of L.A.'s native son, Nick Young. According to Basketball-Reference.com's player efficiency rating, Young is averaging a mark of 16.4, which is over one point better than the league average of 15 and nearly two points better than his career-high of 14.5 in 2010-11 with the Washington Wizards. Young has been thrust into a situation tailor-made for his propensity to jack it up from the parking lot, and what's most impressive about that fact is that while the Lakers have given him the proverbial green light to do so, he's become a more disciplined and complete player.
When the topic of Nick Young comes up the last word being associated with the former Wizards guard is efficient. Now in his seventh season Young is playing on his fourth team in as many years. But while playing under Mike D’Antoni’s free flowing system Young is flourishing and is one of the reason’s the Los Angeles Lakers are staying afloat as they wait for Kobe Bryant to make his return. In fact D’Antoni has gone as far to say that if the Lakers keep winning he thinks that Young should get some consideration for Sixth Man of the Year.
Josh Smith drove to the basket - and the Los Angeles Lakers finally defended it. Smith was called for an offensive foul with 2.7 seconds left and Detroit down two, and the Lakers held on for a 106-102 victory over the Pistons on Friday night. Los Angeles trailed by 10 at the start of the fourth quarter but rallied past a Detroit team that dominated the paint for almost the entire game. The Pistons needed one more layup, as it turned out, and Nick Young was there for Los Angeles to draw the charge on Smith.