Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell has found himself at the center of a locker room fallout after he allegedly recorded a private conversation with teammate Nick Young. The video surfaced on the internet last week and you can watch it here:
During the video, Russell asks Young a series of questions about him being with other women and, at one point, asks “You was 30 and she was 19?” referencing his teammate’s age and the age of a girl he said he met in a nightclub.
Young is currently engaged to Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. She tweeted this out on Wednesday morning:
Late in the video, while still apparently recording, Russell can be heard saying to Young, “I’m glad you told my video all that.” Young responded, “Huh?” before the video cut off.
Although the video made the rounds on Twitter late last week, the tension in the Lakers locker room is reportedly only just now coming to a head. It’s currently unclear how the video was released, despite rumors that Russell’s phone was hacked, but the release was a reported factor in L.A.’s 48-point loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday night.
Now, ESPN is reporting that the Lakers are dealing with the video by isolating him in the locker room. A team insider told the network: “This was a prank gone wrong and a mistake by [Russell], and he has to be held accountable, but I would hope he isn’t overly criticized for it.”
Russell’s agent, Austin Brown, did not comment in any of the reports.
The Lakers selected Russell with the No. 2 overall pick and cited his potential as a main factor in the selection. Russell started the first 20 games of the season off the bench and Los Angeles head coach Byron Scott has frequently questioned the guards maturity.
“He’s such a kid,” Scott said in February. “I told him the other day, ‘You’re 19, but sometimes I think you’re 14.'”
The Lakers rookie issued an apology late on Wednesday, saying he is “sick” over the entire story, maintaining he has no idea how the video got released. He added:
I feel as sick as possible. Been asked 110 times and my answer and feeling stay same. 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.
When asked about the video during a separate news conference on Wednesday, Young said he and Russell were going to “handle the situation we have in a private manner outside the media.”
Russell, who said he reached out to Young and apologized, is currently averaging 13.1 points, 3.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds. Young, meanwhile, did not travel with the team to Salt Lake City and has not played in 10 games due to gastroenteritis, according to the team.