Leave it to Swaggy P to voice his team's concerns while accurately summing up everything that has made the 2013-14 Los Angeles Lakers so much fun to watch.
After a disappointing 105-103 loss to the Utah Jazz, one in which he dropped 21 points and three assists off the bench before fouling out, Nick Young wasn't exactly happy with the lack of respect that his team received from the officiating crew.
"I feel like we don't get the proper respect that everybody else gets when it comes to certain things out there on the court. It plays a major role," the volume-scoring 2-guard told ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin. "I'm not going to call no names; I'm not going to say it was the refs' fault or nothing, but just watch the game over and see what happened out there."
He may have a point in general, but this might not be the right game to tacitly complain about foul calls. Brian Forte's crew called the Lakers for one more foul than they did the Jazz, but L.A. actually spent more time at the charity stripe. Young was the only player in much foul trouble, even prompting this reaction from Mike D'Antoni after his fifth whistle-inducing play:
Mike D’Antoni on that 5th foul by Nick Young…. pic.twitter.com/8KBUaylUCI— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) December 28, 2013
But while his questioning of the refs this game is, well, questionable, Young does make other valid points.
Speaking about how Kobe Bryant's absence has created a team that gets overlooked by almost everyone—a rare phenomenon for the Lakers—Young dished out the following gem:
It's just the way people view us. We're trying to change the way people think about us. At the same time, we're all fighting for something. We're all fighting for that respect and our names on the back [of the uniform]. It's a pride factor that kicks in.
He also said losing games like this makes you want to go out there and "kill somebody the next game." Though I would never condone physical violence and Young was quite obviously speaking metaphorically, that's exactly the type of mentality the Lakers have used and will continue to use throughout this frustrating campaign.
Nick Young fouls out of the game and is so upset he immediately sits on the floor next to the Lakers' bench, burying his head— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 28, 2013
Chemistry. Heart. Desire. Passion. Toughness. Resiliency. Tenacity. Perseverance.
All these words describe the Lakers this season during a year in which, as Bleacher Report's Howard Ruben writes, the role players must carry the team. It's what has allowed them to avoid falling down the same set of pitfalls that have snared more talented teams like the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks, and it will likely continue to do exactly that.
Young may have fouled out against the Jazz, but his sentiments were more than fair. More importantly, they seem to be shared by everyone throwing on a purple-and-gold jersey.