D’Angelo Russell apologizes for Nick Young video controversy
Lakers rookie guard D’Angelo Russell apologized Wednesday for recording a video on his phone of teammate Nick Young that leaked last week. The controversial video includes Young discussing his relationships with women other than his fianceé, rapper Iggy Azalea.
“I am sick,” Russell first told the Vertical on Wednesday, prior to L.A.’s game against the Miami Heat. “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.”
“I feel as sick as possible,” he reiterated to reporters before the game. “I wish I could make things better right away, but I can’t.” Russell said he had “no clue” how the video leaked and became public, and that he has been trying to figure out how the video got out. He said that he never sent it to anyone, but balked at the notion he may have been hacked.
“Only time can make this really go away,” he said. “If I’ve lost anybody’s trust, I’m gonna work my tail off to get it back.”
The controversy began when Russell recorded what appeared to be private conversation between him and Young. The video was later leaked by a gossip site. In the video, Young appears to confess to having a relationship with another woman. In a longer version of the video posted by another site, Russell says “I’m glad you told my video all that.”
Russell told The Vertical that pranks were a part of his relationship with Young, who is 30 and 10 years his senior. He said he underestimated “bigger consequences” that could come of his actions.
Russell: "That was just an incident of playing too much goes wrong....I have no clue how it got out."— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) March 31, 2016
Surreal scene at Staples. Asked if believes he put nick Young's marriage at risk, Russell said: "Honestly I do."— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) March 31, 2016
Young spoke to reporters prior to the game and issued only a statement to reporters. “I don’t want to get into my personal life right now. I think it’s best me and D’Angelo handle the situation we have in a private manner, outside of the media” he said. “I Think it’s something we do need to sit down and talk about, and that’s about it. What happened is what happened. We’ve got to work on it.” He did not indicate he had accepted an apology. A quickly-deleted tweet just before 9 p.m. ET seemed to indicate Young had not made amends with Russell, contrary to reports Wednesday afternoon.
Lakers players reportedly responded to the situation by ”isolating” Russell, and that at a recent meeting the players refused to sit at the same table with him, according to ESPN. When Russell tried to sit next to teammate Lou Williams in the locker room, Williams reportedly stood up and left.
Head coach Byron Scott told reporters that he saw it as a “bump in the road,” and that he was disappointed the Lakers were unable to deal with the situation internally before the media caught wind of things.
On Wednesday morning, Russell was surrounded by security as he exited the Lakers’ practice facility after a shootaround.
The Lakers host the Heat at 10:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.