Going into the 2016-2017 season, Nick Young’s career was in flux. After Snapchat-gate with former Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell and a down year in all categories, Young’s future with Los Angeles was in question. Young was not sure he would find a team to step onto the court for.
In a one-on-one with the Undefeated’s Marc Spears, Young detailed how his summer was tough on him:
“Last year going into summertime after everything blew up was the toughest time,” Young said. “It was tough because I didn’t know if I was going to be on any team. I was hearing buyout, getting cut. There was just so much going on with the deal. I didn’t think I was going to be playing anytime soon.”
But after mentioning that, there was one voice that calmed Young’s worries: new Lakers head coach, Luke Walton. Young goes on to credit Walton as a part of his resurgence as a player:
“Luke called me and just told me to control what I can control. Luke was pretty big in all of this,” Young said.
Walton deserves credit, given how players 30+ usually begin to decline, not put up career-high shooting numbers. Young was a ball of fire from behind the arc for the Lakers, prompting multiple suitors yearning for Young’s services in the coming offseason.
Young later mentions how the Warriors and Steve Kerr courted him as a free agent. Ultimately, the championship opportunity and culture were too great to pass up for Swaggy P, making the decision to sign with Golden State an easy one.