Nick Young: 'Welcome to the Player Haters Ball'

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 30: Nick Young #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives against the Phoenix Suns at STAPLES Center on March 30, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Put on your finest suits, gents. Grab your fanciest gowns, ladies. Nick Young and the Los Angeles Lakers are taking all of us to the player hater's ball.

Following the Lakers' 115-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night, Swaggy P rolled out the ultimate welcoming mat, per ESPN's J.A. Adande:

The win was a big one for the Lakers, who have taken to spoiling other teams' playoff hopes in absence of their own. What they did to Phoenix was potentially devastating.

Though the loss didn't knock the Suns out of the Western Conference playoff picture, it was a contest they needed to win when looking at the road ahead. They close out the season with games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.

Of their final eight games, not one opponent can be considered an ideal matchup. Not even the Kings. So the Suns need to be winning the games they're supposed to win. And against the Lakers, they were supposed to win.

Instead, they lost. Badly. The tanking Lakers took control of the game early, never looked back and handed the Suns a possibly crippling blow.

Indeed, these playoff-hopes-damaging wins have become the Lakers' trademark, much to Young's sadistic pleasure.

Immediately following a win over the New York Knicks, Young, according to Lakers.com's Mike Trudell, implored his teammates to play postseason party pooper to close out this season, which is when this whole thing started:

Since then, point guard Kendall Marshall has joined the movement:

Kent Bazemore is now player-hating as well:

Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey even worked some photoshop magic to celebrate the occasion:

With games remaining against the Blazers, Mavericks, Clippers, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs, there will be plenty of opportunities for more people to join the cause. 

"We want to keep teams out of the playoffs and mess up seedings," Marshall said Sunday, per The Associated Press (via ESPN). "That's our motivation right now. Any type of motivation we can get to grow as a team is good for us right now."

Credit Young with inspiring his teammates amid a lost season.

Credit the Lakers for raising hell and for being a lively nuisance standing between potential playoff teams and the postseason berth or positioning they desperately covet.

Welcome to the player-hating, Swaggy P-headlining, postseason-wrecking ball.