The Los Angeles Lakers recently passed the halfway point of the NBA season and currently sport a 16-26 record, which is good for 3rd worst in the Western Conference. We could do the whole traditional first half review of the Lakers season, but let’s be honest, that would be depressing. The fans and the team have gone through enough this season. Instead, let’s take a different route and take this opportunity to highlight one of the bright spots from the 2013-14 Lakers. He goes by the name Swaggy P.
The Lakers first half MVP is Nick Young.
While Young has only started a handful of games for the Lakers this season (8), he has easily been the most productive 6th man in the NBA and has carried the Lakers in most of their 16 victories.
Has any Laker this season been more exciting to watch than Nick Young? How many times have you been caught tweeting “SWAGGY P!!!!”. At this point that’s my standard, everyday greeting towards other Lakers fans.
“Hey man how’s it going?”
“Oh, you know, Swaggy P!”
Young is having the best year of his career in his hometown and playing for the team he grew up cheering for. He is averaging 17.1 points per game despite only starting 8 contests this season. He has already broken the Lakers single-season record for most 4-point plays, with four. But, above all else, he plays with the passion and intensity that Laker fans have grown to love from another superstar.
Yes, Kobe Bean Bryant.
I’m in no way, shape or form claiming that Nick Young is even in the same stratosphere as Kobe Bryant. However, there is no denying the fact that Bryant is definitely teaching Young some things on the practice court. You can see it in his game. The new step back 3-pointer, the baseline fadeaway, the reckless attacking of the basket; those are all Mamba moves.
I honestly believed before the season that Nick Young would get eaten alive by Kobe; however, there seems to be a mutual teacher-student respect between those two. Here’s what Nick Young had to say about Kobe.
Nick Young: “Kobe’s been a great mentor … That’s been unbelievable for me … learning from one of the greatest players to play this game”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 21, 2014
It looks like the Kobe lessons have been paying off really well recently. Or maybe it was the suspension for throwing a punch at Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns. Either way, Nick Young has looked like a man possessed the last two games against the Toronto Raptors and the Chicago Bulls. Swaggy P scored 60 points in 48 hours against the two Eastern Conference teams.
That’s 6-0. For a 6th man. That’s almost unheard of. SWAGGY P!
I know this Lakers season has been difficult and it will continue to be; however, we call all take solace in the fact that Nick Young is turning into an asset in front of our eyes. It’s really happening. He’s the Lakers best player right now and probably will be until Kobe comes back. Until then, enjoy the Swaggy P show.
Just one last thing, can we start calling Nick Young “The New Agent Zero” and chanting “Swaggy P, MVP” at Staples Center? Please and thank you.