NBA rookie Russell in Lakers rift over 'secret' video
Los Angeles (AFP)
Los Angeles Lakers rookie D'Angelo Russell apologized for secretly recording teammate Nick Young talking about women other than Young's fiancee Iggy Azalea.
The video, which later appeared online, has reportedly caused a rift in the Lakers' locker room as the famed NBA franchise staggers toward the end of a disappointing season notable mostly as the farewell tour of superstar Kobe Bryant.
"I feel as sick as possible," Russell, 20, told reporters before the Lakers' home game against the Miami Heat on Wednesday. "I wish I could make things better right away, but I can't."
Russell said he didn't know how the video became public.
"I reached out to (Young), let him know my apologies," Russell said. "I don't know if they were accepted. I wouldn't blame him."
ESPN.com reported that Russell had been given the cold shoulder by several teammates after the emergence of the video, in which Young -- who is engaged to Australian rapper Azalea -- talks about other women.
An ESPN report cited unidentified sources with the Lakers as saying discord over the video was partly to blame for the team's 48-point drubbing by the Utah Jazz on Monday, the worst defeat in Lakers history.
"It's bad. It's about as bad as it can get. There were trust issues already. Now there's no trust," one team source was quoted as telling an ESPN.com journalist.
Team officials had reportedly chosen not to intervene in the situation.
Young spoke briefly about the matter prior to Wednesday's game.
"I don't want to get into my personal life right now," he said. "I think it's best that me and D'Angelo handle the situation we have in a private manner outside the media.
"I think it's something we really do need to sit down and talk about. That's about it. What happened is what happened. We've got to work on it."
Azalea commented on Twitter on the video.
"hmmm i see D Angelo Russell is trending... I actually liked his film. Thanks bro," Azalea tweeted Wednesday.
Lakers coach Byron Scott said Wednesday morning he hadn't spoken to Russell about the video.
"I haven't talked to him, won't talk to him. That's an internal matter that our guys will deal with," Scott said.
Asked on Wednesday evening if the Lakers would be able to move on from the incident, Scott said: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
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