“Time heals all wounds” may just have to be D’angelo Russell’s mantra for the remainder of the basketball season, or at least until the situation he wants so desperately to go away actually dies down.
Days after his recording of teammate Nick Young admitting to infidelity unknowingly made its way onto the Twitter account of a celebrity gossip website, Russell is currently dealing with the consequences of his past actions. Aside from the existing tension amongst the team when off the court, the lack of respect and trust from his peers permeated its way to the arenas, becoming evident through a failure to respond to his calls for the ball. Not to mention, the audience had less than a warm welcome when he made his way onto the court as part of the starting lineup.
“I can’t really show my face anywhere without people hating me right now,” Russell said after the game. “I don’t know. I try to handle it the right way and remember why I’m here, which is to play basketball.”
Despite a history of playing pranks on each other, Russell expressed his lack of knowledge on how the video got leaked, as well as his regret for the footage recorded; footage that may potentially affect the personal life of someone he held dear to his heart.
“I’ve always been known as a guy that plays around a lot, and he has been, too. To be around somebody that’s similar, with the same similar characteristics, is different. He’s one of the guys that I’ve always talked to about anything, and I cherished our friendship. For me to have an incident like this come up and put it in jeopardy is not what I was intending to do.”
In regards to his personal life, Young refused to comment, acknowledging the need for he and Russell to have a conversation on their own time.
“I think it’s best that me and D’Angelo handle the situation we have in a private manner outside the media,” Young said. “I think it’s something we really do need to sit down and talk about. That’s about it. What happened is what happened. We’ve got to work on it.”
Lakers coach Byron Scott wished a private conversation would have taken place sans the public display of Young’s antics.
“I’ve experienced that and more as a player,” he said. “You get in fights with teammates — pushing matches and shoving matches, shouting matches — but again, you deal with it internally, and you get past it because the bottom line it’s all about the team. I’ve played with guys I didn’t like as people, but they were my teammates and you deal with that. You don’t have to necessarily have to like each other to be on a team and get along when it’s for the team. Everybody’s different as far as teammates go. The only thing I’m disappointed about is, we didn’t handle it internally without it getting out.”
Scott continued discussing Russell’s betrayal of trust and its effects on his teammates. Kobe Bryant, a known veteran of the game, also addressed the matter, providing advice and encouragement for Russell.
“I had a chance to talk to him earlier today. All I can do is just do my best Yoda impersonations and give him that kind of sage advice, I guess. One day pass, this shall — or something like that. Adversity is always tough, especially with a group of young guys. There’s always light, even when it’s the darkest. Even when you can’t see it at all.”
Russell claims to have apologized to Young, but is not yet aware of whether his apology has been accepted. A tweet, which was posted by Young and later deleted, implies that he either has not accepted Russell’s apology or received it at all.
Regardless of how deep of a hole in which he has dug himself, Russell is determined to earn his trust back.
“If I’ve lost anyone’s trust, I’m going to work my tail off to get it back,” said Russell. “It’s something you need [to be] a winning team.”
Hopefully, Nick’s relationship with fiancee Iggy Azalea has not been damaged too much, but according to a tweet from the Australian rapper reading “hmmm i see D Angelo Russell is trending… I actually liked his film. Thanks bro.”, Young definitely has his work cut out for him!
Written By: Sweenie Saint-Vil