Fans call foul. Los Angeles Lakers rookie D’Angelo Russell was booed by fans at L.A.’s Staples Center on Wednesday, March 30, after a private conversation with his teammate Nick Young mysteriously leaked this week.
In the offending video recorded by Russell, his teammate “Swaggy P” Young allegedly admits to cheating on his fiancée, Iggy Azalea. ESPN reported this week that Lakers players aren’t mad at Young over the clip, but they are furious with Russell. “It’s bad,” one locker room insider told ESPN. “It’s about as bad as it can get. There were trust issues already. Now there’s no trust.”
Fans apparently feel the same way. Before the Lakers took on the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, Russell was greeted by boos inside the venue during the starting lineup introduction. Fans, including, presumably, some who cheered on Russell earlier in the season, continued to jeer at the 2015 No. 2 draft pick throughout the game.
Mixed reviews for D’Angelo Russell’s intro in tonight’s starting lineups pic.twitter.com/IcdHNmkgVk
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) March 31, 2016
A seemingly drained Russell, 20, spoke to reporters after the game in the locker room. “I can’t really show my face without people hating me right now,” he noted. “I don’t know. I try to handle it the right way and remember why I’m here, which is to play basketball.” He also said he anticipated the backlash from fans. “I knew that was going to happen,” he said of the boos. “It’s all good.”
In a separate interview with The Vertical, Russell said that he was “sick” about the leaked clip. “I am sorry about recording the video. I can’t repeat myself enough on that: I am sorry I recorded that video. I feel horrible. I wish this never happened,” Young said. “The thing is, we record ourselves doing dumb stuff all the time. On the road or home, wherever. We go back and watch what we did and said and laugh at ourselves. I guess I just never thought that these pranks we pull on ourselves could have bigger consequences. That was a big lesson I learned.”
He was also asked whether he thinks he put 30-year-old Young’s engagement to the Aussie rapper, 25, in jeopardy, to which Russell replied during his presser, “Honestly, I do. I’ve always been known as a guy that plays around a lot, and he has been, too. To be around somebody that’s similar, with the same similar characteristics, is different. He’s one of the guys that I’ve always talked to about anything, and I cherished our friendship. For me to have an incident like this come up and put it in jeopardy is not what I was intending to do.”
He’s since apologized to Young directly. “I reached out to him, let him know my apologies,” the rookie said. “I don’t know if they were accepted. I wouldn’t blame him.”
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