Nick Young's Breakout Game

An interesting angle to tonight's game against the Lakers involves Wizards guard Nick Young, who grew up in Los Angeles as a huge fan of Kobe Bryant and the purple and gold.

One of my favorite memories of last season came in March when Young dropped a season- and career-high 27 points in a tough but exciting 126-120 OT loss at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, just a short distance from where Young grew up and eventually starred at USC.

The cool thing was seeing the way the crowd started cheering for the hometown kid as he made shot after shot in the fourth quarter. Even Jack was clapping for the local guy. Later, after greeting a pack of friends and family, Young was swarmed by LA area media. It was a pretty sweet moment for a nice young guy who truly seems to appreciate how far he's come and how special an honor it is to play in the NBA.

Bryant had praise for the kid's game and later invited Young to attend his annual summer basketball camp.

"That was special because I was at home in front of everybody," Young said. "I was just hitting shots. They were going down for me that night."

Young has friends and family in town for tonight's game as well and remains tight with Lakers guard Jordan Farmar, a high school rival and later, a rival at UCLA.

"It's always fun going out there competing against a team I grew up watching," Young said. "From Magic to Kobe to Shaq to Nick Van Exel -- it's going to be fun." (The Van Exel part didn't catch my attention until I went over the tape. Seems like a big drop from Magic to Van Exel but remember, Nick the Quick could fill it up with the best of them.)

When the Lakers visited Washington last January, Eddie Jordan put Young into the game late in the first quarter and the raw rookie was immediately matched up against his idol. Bryant promptly received the ball, froze Young with a pump fake and made a jumper while drawing a foul. Welcome to the NBA rookie.

What advice has Bryant given Young?

"He just tells me I'm talented and I gotta keep working hard," Young said. "He said it's all about getting that experience."

By Ivan Carter |  December 5, 2008; 8:56 AM ET
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Comments

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first...not that fulfilling

Posted by: BurgwithaU | December 5, 2008 9:28 AM

second and feeling pretty good about it....

Posted by: original_mark | December 5, 2008 9:45 AM

Van Exel created the Lake Show. Before Kobe and Shaq, Nick and Eddie Jones put the fast break back in LA.

Posted by: elfreako | December 5, 2008 10:23 AM

hope Nick can have a breakout performance tonight, we need a miracle to get this win


http://www.wizardsextreme.com

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | December 5, 2008 10:24 AM

I remember “ONE” game about 3 years ago where Jamison played some shut down defense. He held the other starting power forward to just 6 points. I forgot to mention that the other Power Forward sprained his knee 4 minutes into the game and did not play the rest of the game.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 5, 2008 10:30 AM

Why does it matter if someone has a "breakout game" when after the game, they return back to their old form? A "breakout game" that people remember for a player is only 1 of 82 games in a season.

Build, sustain, and improve, those are the keys.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 5, 2008 10:31 AM

Jamison stuck his leg out and tripped the guy as he was blowing by him on his way to dunk the ball.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 5, 2008 10:33 AM

The Wizards could use a little Nick Van Exel these days. The guy could nail some 3 balls.

Posted by: richardharless | December 5, 2008 10:44 AM

Good article. Thanks, Ivan.

NY has the eighth best shooting percentage in the NBA for shooting guards this year at 47%, just below Kobe.

His assists have more than doubled and he's working harder at D.

He has the best rating of any Wiz on the stats published at 82games.com

Do you think he deserves more minutes? Do you think he will further improve if he gets more minutes?

Posted by: Izman | December 5, 2008 10:59 AM

DCMAN: The only way NY can "build, sustain, and improve" is if he gets the minutes he deserves. I mean, hes averaging 12 points in 24 mins this season. That number NEEDS to go up to 30-35 mpg. If that happens, he's at least at 17ppg. He does not need to start, he can still be the "spark" off the bench, but just give him the bulk of the minutes. (see Manu in SA). Not to bad for a sixth man huh??

If NY were playing for OKC right now, hed be havin an all-star season. It just all depends on the situation.

Posted by: cj658 | December 5, 2008 11:13 AM

FYI: WTF is going on with NY's Mins??? The last 3 games: 18min, 20min, 20min.

That is ludacris.

Come on Tapscott, WAKEUP and realize where the talent is.

Posted by: cj658 | December 5, 2008 11:18 AM

NY won't get off the pine unless he learns to play defense and plays within the system, not just jack up shots at will like his former landlord, Gilby.

It's interesting. In NY's video documentary, his coach chews him out for being a ballhog and shooting too much, but then he looks at Gilby who got paid based on being a ballhog and shooting too much.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 5, 2008 11:21 AM

"Jamison stuck his leg out and tripped the guy as he was blowing by him on his way to dunk the ball."

Lol, sounds accurate to me. :)

Lakers by 20+ tonight.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 5, 2008 11:39 AM

If Young played the way he did against Detroit, where he took the ball strong to the basket and got to the FT line 11 times, he'd get more PT. But since then he's lapsed back into his routine of dribbling the ball around 18 feet from the basket and launching fadeaways over outstretched defenders with the clock running down.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 5, 2008 11:49 AM

It'll be interesting to see JaTravel vs. Bynum tonight.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 5, 2008 11:52 AM

Carter and Lee,

Will you address the Amare for Jamison (plus a bunch others) rumors?

If nothing else it will get your blog out of the suck-ass basment its in. Take the lead from Tarik who was at your level last year and improved significantly to become one of the best.

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | December 5, 2008 12:42 PM

NY could have a field day scoring cause it will be a blowout by mid 3rd quarter.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 5, 2008 12:54 PM

"It's interesting. In NY's video documentary, his coach chews him out for being a ballhog and shooting too much, but then he looks at Gilby who got paid based on being a ballhog and shooting too much."

DCMAN: Excellent point.

But Kal made a great point to, he is settling for too many shots/fade-aways.

The fact is, they are both gunners and ball hogs, agreed. But the major difference is Gil could penetrate at will, and draw fouls by attacking the rim at will. 2-3 years ago when Gil was in his prime, he attacked the rim, and rarely was stopped.

NY still is far more talented than DS, & he should be getting the bulk of the minutes.

Posted by: cj658 | December 5, 2008 1:24 PM

"The fact is, they are both gunners and ball hogs, agreed. But the major difference is Gil could penetrate at will, and draw fouls by attacking the rim at will. 2-3 years ago when Gil was in his prime, he attacked the rim, and rarely was stopped.

NY still is far more talented than DS, & he should be getting the bulk of the minutes.

Posted by: cj658 | December 5, 2008 1:24 PM "

Yes, but Gilby was routinely going against PG's much smaller than he is.

NY is going against guys his size or bigger.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 5, 2008 1:28 PM


If nothing else it will get your blog out of the suck-ass basment its in. Take the lead from Tarik who was at your level last year and improved significantly to become one of the best.

--------------------

Please ignore guys like this. I can't use the language that comes to mind. Your readers actually do appreciate what you do for us.

Posted by: crs-one | December 5, 2008 1:57 PM

The Lakers will kill D.C. tonight. The most the Wizards can hope to achieve is to instill some confidence in the younger players. I'd like to see Dominic McGuire log serious minutes guarding K.B. tonight. His defense has been exceptional lately, and that kind of effort should be rewarded. Ok, maybe letting Kobe drop 50 on a guy isn't much of a "reward", but you know what I'm saying.

Posted by: satchmore | December 5, 2008 1:57 PM

PS Amare for Jamison? probably not reported because it's laughable. If nothing else, Shaq regards Amare like his protege and he would use all his leverage to make sure he never leaves.

Posted by: crs-one | December 5, 2008 1:59 PM

The only place Shaq should have leverage is on a see-saw. He's about done.

Posted by: original_mark | December 5, 2008 2:05 PM

crs-one

I think ThatGuy2 heard the Stoudamire for Jamison rumor and did not understand that it was for Damon Stoudamire not Amare, and the Wizards would have to through in Caron Butler for the other team to make the deal.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 5, 2008 2:09 PM

Even thinking about trading Amare for Jamison would be an insane move for the Suns.

There's a reason they're called "rumors."

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 5, 2008 2:19 PM

It was published by the Suns paper. the deal is Amare, bell, diaw, and tucker for jamison, daniels, and either butler (who the suns want) or a combo of blatche and stevenson or songaila or thomas... Everyone else is talking about it except for DC. All i did was ask these beat reporters to comment on it, like; "dont believe it" or something. The silence speaks volumes. ...If y'all think the current roster can get it done, keep living in delusional land.

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | December 5, 2008 3:36 PM

chris kaman > amare

Posted by: prescrunk | December 5, 2008 3:39 PM

"Everyone else is talking about it except for DC. "

If by "everyone else" you mean fans and talk radio in Phoenix ... so what?

No one in DC is talking about it because everyone in DC knows better than to believe it. Trading Stoudemire for Jamison does nothing to make the Suns better either in the short or long term, so why would they do it?

And don't give me "his contract expires in a couple of years and he might walk." That's a reason for them to trade him (which they certainly might) but it's not a reason to trade him for Jamison.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 5, 2008 3:45 PM

owned

Posted by: prescrunk | December 5, 2008 3:48 PM

It was published by the Suns paper.

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | December 5, 2008 3:36 PM

link please

Posted by: prescrunk | December 5, 2008 3:51 PM

I would trade jamison, daniels, butler,
blatche, stevenson, songaila and thomas for Amare. The only people who think the current roster can get it done, are the owner and GM, and they are living in delusional land.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 5, 2008 3:51 PM

Nick needs to see more time, 30 at least,I don't think it matters whether he starts, i'd like to see it but he's still valuable off the pine if he gets enough time right now they only thing holding him back is minutes, mistakes will happen but the positives and growth cannot occur without minutes. same with mcgee and blatche, they're our only shot. Relying on jamison to cover the four kills us, we dont have a stud center who can erase his mistakes. Mcgee will block shots but doesn't have footwork, positioning or strength to command the paint yet, Blatchewill help us tremendously inside by playing the four, those two and mcguire are the only guys on the roster capable of helping us on D inside, only they should play center and blatche should steal minutes at pf moving jamison to the 3. Mcguire looks like he could be a lock-down guy, he gets after it, he stills seems a little hesitant on the floor but in more time he should be a serious energy, hustle guy who makes his man really work, boards and blocks shots. Marion-like athletically but bigger and stronger, needs confidence to truly shine though. Nick just needs minutes, he is nice offensively and he can rebound well for a two, his d should be able to come along given that he has the size and quicks, gotta reverse his minutes with deshawn and let him steal some from ad and dee. 30 minutes minimum for ny, blatche and mcgee, please.

Posted by: bford1kb | December 5, 2008 5:09 PM

Posted by: prescrunk | December 5, 2008 5:13 PM

the game in la was incredibly entertaining, ny went nuts, and caron's 3 and subsequent gesture to the crowd while screaming at the fans was great, thought the gesture would make a great t-shirt. best single moment of the season, even though we ended up blowing it.

Posted by: bford1kb | December 5, 2008 5:13 PM

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