These past two weeks have not been kind to Black male athletes and entertainers.
First it was Kyrie Irving, then it was Columbus Short. Now it’s the Lakers’ duo of D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young.
Fresh off a smacking against the Utah Jazz, twitter has exploded over a secretly recorded “interview” between Russell and Young, in which Young appears to admit that he cheated on fiance Iggy Azalea. So now Russell has compounded the normal struggles of an NBA rookie by creating issues of trust within his own locker room.
D’Angelo Russell theme music pic.twitter.com/bMcvkG2jlK
No Relation (@TheCosby) March 30, 2016
When D’Angelo Russell walks into the cafeteria pic.twitter.com/JaBf9Ww3DH
Stephen Douglas (@Stephen_Douglas) March 30, 2016
While no one seems to know how the video became public, the fact is that it did and now Russell has brought the wrath of the team, and most likely all of the players in the League, down upon him. Sources are saying the team is not taking it lightly in the least bit.
“Right now,” one source said, “they’re handling it by isolating him.”
A team insider stated: “This was a prank gone wrong and a mistake by [Russell], and he has to be held accountable, but I would hope he isn’t overly criticized for it.”
According to one source, Lakers players refused to sit with Russell at a recent breakfast meeting and that when Russell sat next to teammate Lou Williams in the locker room, Williams got up and walked away.
“It’s bad,” one team source told ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne. “It’s about as bad as it can get. There were trust issues already. Now there’s no trust.”
D’Angelo Russell’s Wikipedia page right now. pic.twitter.com/aZDMvm7T7e
Chris Martin Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) March 30, 2016
In the video, Russell asks Young, “You was 30 and she was 19?” referencing the ages of Young and the young woman he met in a club.
“What about Amber Rose?” Russell later says, mentioning another celebrity.
“No, she knows my girl,” Young is recorded as saying.
Towards the end of the “interview”, Russell is heard telling Young, “I’m glad you told my video all that.”
“Huh?” Young says, turning his face toward Russell before the video cuts off.
But this is not the first time the rookie’s maturity has come into question. Head coach Byron Scott has publicly stated his feelings about Russell’s level of maturity.
“He’s such a kid,” Scott said in February. “I told him the other day, ‘You’re 19, but sometimes I think you’re 14.'”
While he’s averaging 13.1 points, 3.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds over 27.5 minutes in 72 games this season, this situation will undoubtedly haunt the young rookie for a while. And now reports have surfaced that the wedding between Iggy and Young has been pushed back. And of course, twitter has been a part of it.
hmmm i see D Angelo Russell is trending… I actually liked his film. Thanks bro.
IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) March 30, 2016
It’s a shame that today’s generation loves to air their issues and drama on social media instead of face-to-face like people used to do. But it’s even worse when you do it to your teammate, players who depend on you and whose back you’re supposed to have. But in the age of digital thuggery, cowardness and foolishnes, this practice has become the norm. Say what you want about Matt Barnes, but at least he handled his “BI” like a grown ass man, live and in person, something this age of social media and virtual reality obviously cannot fathom or handle.
Ironically, Russell didn’t travel with the team to play against Utah due to what the team says is because of gastroenteritis. That’s when your stomach and intestines are irritated and inflamed.
Yeah, sounds like a punch to the gut to us….
How D’Angelo Russell looks walking into the Lakers locker room pic.twitter.com/ZbXfTHl4LF
Eric Fawcett (@Efawcett7) March 30, 2016