Nick Young and His Mom
Probably bad form to go back to this well so quickly, but there was more from Nick Young's mom last night that I wanted to get off my chest, or out of my notebook, or whatever. Bear in mind that most of this is tongue in cheek. At least, I think it is.
* Alando Tucker was signing autographs in front of the stands. There was some question as to who he was, since he was wearing no identifying clothing. A guy sitting in front of us suggested it was Alando Tucker, but we weren't positive.
"Hey Tucker!!!" screamed Nick's mom, and Tucker looked up at us and smiled. "Oh yeah, that's you," she said. "Keepin' up with my peeps."
* Oleksiy Pecherov got a technical foul for hanging on the rim after a dunk. Seemed like a dodgy call to me, but Nick's mom took a different tack.
"He didn't know!!!" she yelled to the refs. "He's not from here!!! He's not from this country!!!"
* Mike Hall cried out in frustration after failing to make a layup while being fouled.
"I feel you baby!" Nick's mom shouted out. "I wish I could go down there and hit him," she added, speaking of the offending player.
* The Pistons' Sammy Mejia seemed to particularly get on her nerves. "Stop him, take the ball from him!" she yelled out when Mejia was at the top of the key. "I don't like how he's dribbling!!"
* The refs sure do call a lot of fouls in Summer League, and this also frustrated Nick's mom. "Oh man, where'd they get these refs from?" she asked at one point. "I thought this was a fun game."
* In addition to calling Arron Afllalo "All Fall Down," she called Rodney Stuckey "Sticky" and Jason Maxiell "Maxi."
I asked Nick whether he could hear his mother screaming from the court; "oh yeah, oh yeah," he said. "I think that helped me out today, hearing her in the crowd, screaming my name and 'Go Wizards' all day. She's like the number one fan at SC; they told her to come back and cheer. That's like the team mom, everybody enjoys her being around, she's always cracking jokes and just out there yelling and trying to be a cheerleader."
Other things I learned about Nick and his family:
* On draft night, after Nick became a first-round pick and got rich, they went to a pizza joint in Midtown Manhattan and got six pies.
* His dad drives trucks and moves furniture, and Nick used to ride along and help move furniture.
* In regards to Nick's previously discussed propensity for buying much shoes and clothes, including a recent pair of $500 jeans, his wardrobe has taken over the Young's house. "My closet is filled, his closet is filled, we've got an old [Ford] Explorer that's filled," Nick's mom told me.
I asked Nick about him refusing to let his mom buy him clothes as an elementary schooler; "She used to buy me these little kid [clothes]; I didn't like the little cartoons and all that," he told me. I also asked about his shoe collection; "I wear them like two times and then I let 'em sit down, because I don't want to get 'em dirty," he said.
His mom speculated to me that since he was so careful with his money, his big NBA contract treat would just be a shopping spree, but Nick corrected her.
"That ain't gonna be my treat, because I've been doing that," he said. "I'm going to get my first car. I don't know what kind of car to get yet. I've just been driving my parents' cars all around. I need to get my own car that nobody, except for my brothers, can drive."
* He has just one tattoo, of an angel, on his heart. He hid it from his parents for a month.
* His mom said she's glad she finally has an NBA team to root for, although she admitted she needs to study up.
"I don't know anyone but Gilbert and, what's the other one? Caron Butler," she said. "I'm going to learn them, but he's got some cool teammates. Look at 55 [Kyle Visser], he's cool, isn't he, with that hair? I want Nick to be the finesse player, and [Dominic] McGuire to be the warrior, go and protect Nick out there, beat people down."
Roger Mason and Cal Booth were both in the crowd, so I pointed them out, although who knows whether one or both will be back.
(As for on the court stuff, Young had 20 points and attributed his first-game struggles to jitters. "I was so shocked I was in the NBA," he explained. "This is an NBA game, and it didn't help that I was on NBA TV, which I'm always watching. You know, I'm on there now. So it was very different, but I'm getting used to it....
"Gilbert called me before the game and told me to go out there and play how we play in California, so I just went out there and tried to do my best. But when I know I've got one of the best players in the league behind me, that gives me all the confidence in the world.")
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