Nick Young Suspended 1 Game for Throwing Punch vs. Suns

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIJanuary 16, 2014

USA Today

The NBA has suspended Los Angeles Lakers small forward Nick Young for one game for throwing a punch during L.A.'s most recent contest, a 121-114 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 15.   

Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding reported the news on Thursday, Jan. 16:

Marc Stein of noted that Goran Dragic was on the receiving end of Young's blow and reported that Phoenix's Marcus Morris and Alex Len were fined $25,000 and $15,000 respectively:

Falling to the Suns in Phoenix marked the Lakers' sixth consecutive loss amid a frustrating stretch without Kobe Bryant, who continues to be sidelined with a knee injury.

Len fouled Young hard when the swingman was ascending toward the hoop for a layup, which prompted Young to get up from the hardwood and immediately come after a number of Suns players. 

None of Young's teammates came to his aid—probably in part due to how quickly he sought confrontation—but he didn't do himself any favors by criticizing them for not doing so.

Perhaps the furthest from the scene was L.A. point guard Kendall Marshall—incidentally a former Suns first-round draft pick. According to Ding, Young liked a couple of Instagram photos that were critical of Marshall:'s Dave McMenamin reported what Young had to say after the game.

"What I'm mad about is it was 1-on-5, I felt like," Young said. "If somebody [from the Lakers] would have got in the middle, everything wouldn't have escalated that much."

Head coach Mike D'Antoni felt that if more Lakers got mixed up in the scuffle and were suspended, it would have exacerbated the problem already facing them—a thin rotation.

Young claimed he didn't throw a punch, but tape of the incident and the Association's rationale for suspending him suggests otherwise.

"I didn't throw no punch," Young said. "I was trying to shove people out of my way. I was getting pushed and pushed further back and it was more trying to get out [from the Suns players]."

The mercurial 28-year-old is a streaky shooter but is finding some success in his first season with the Lakers, leading the team with 16.4 points per contest. His absence for Friday's contest against the Boston Celtics will be hard to overcome considering how many other Lakers are sitting out.