Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding reported the news on Thursday, Jan. 16:
Nick Young suspended one game by the NBA for "throwing a punch." No Swaggy for Lakers at Boston tomorrow.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) January 16, 2014
Marc Stein of ESPN.com 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:
NBA announces Lakers G Nick Young suspended one game for punch thrown at Goran Dragic. Suns' Marcus Morris fined $25K; Alex Len fined $15K— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 16, 2014
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:
Nick Young just "liked" this photo on Instagram mocking Kendall Marshall for not having Young's back tonight: http://t.co/VCprajPwRd— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) January 16, 2014
Young "liked" another Instagram shot showing Marshall watching with hands on hips. Young has just now "un-liked" both photos.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) January 16, 2014
ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin reported what Young had to say after the game.
How do you feel about Nick Young's punishment?
"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.