Report: Lakers Teammates Shun D'Angelo Russell For Acting Like the Feds

By D.J. Byrnes on March 30, 2016 at 9:23 am
Lakers shunning D'Angelo Russell for acting like the feds.

It's been a tumultuous first year in the NBA for former Ohio State star D'Angelo Russell. 

After making Russell the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers inexplicably thought Kobe Bryant's rotted corpse and their bevy of young, unproven talent was a recipe for contention.

The Lakers are currently 15-59 and reside second-to-last in Western Conference standings. Throughout this time, D'Angelo Russell showed flashes of brilliance, only to be corralled with sporadic crunch-time benchings by head coach Byron Scott, who, outside of a couple fruitful years with testicle-puncher Chris Paul, is an objectively bad NBA coach. Russell turned it around recently, even earning passive-aggressive praise from Scott. 

But the Lakers are still bad; the Utah Jazz blew them out by 45 points on Monday night, their worst loss in franchise history. That result may be more nefarious than just a routine drumming of a team masquerading as a professional basketball club.

A video surfaced earlier this week on social media purportedly showing a hotel room conversation between D'Angelo Russell and Los Angeles Lakers swingman Nick "Swaggy P" Young. Swaggy P affectionately labeled Russell a "stinkypoo" in February while discussing veterans' efforts to guide the rookie's growth in the league.

In the video Russell acts like he's a cooperating witness in an impending drug sting and coaxes Young into admitting to cheating on his fiancée, "rapper" Iggy Azalea, with a 19-year-old he met a club:

It's unclear how this video came to light, but a mixtape-peddling SoundCloud rapper hacked Russell's Instagram last week, so his mobile phone security obviously isn't top notch.

Worse yet for Russell, teammates have reportedly shunned him after the video played a role in Monday night's historic blowout.


Various Lakers officials are aware of the issue and are dismayed with Russell, sources say, but to this point they have chosen not to intervene.

"Right now," one source said, "they're handling it by isolating him."

Austin Brown, Russell's agent from Creative Artists Agency, declined to comment when reached Tuesday.

Always a bad sign when you end up as the bad guy when the other guy is a 30-year-old man cheating on his fiancée with a teen he met at a club.

But Russell shouldn't fret, his actions earned him at least one fan:

Late Wednesday night, Russell spoke to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical and expressed the typical remorse of a shamed young man:

“I am sick,” Russell told The Vertical by phone on his drive to the Staples Center on Wednesday. “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.”

 The Lakers host the Miami Heat at 10:30 on Wednesday night.

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