Los Angeles Lakers swingman Nick Young has become one of the league’s most interesting personalities we’ve seen in years. From his boundless energy and his Instagram antics to his alter-ego Swaggy P, where he has over 400,000 followers, we here at SheridanHoops thought that you should get to know the SoCal native better. So here are some things you should definitely know about Young, from his Lakers teammates to the man himself.
Young doesn’t do pregame interviews- This reporter learned that Young is adamant about not talking to reporters before his games. “This is one thing you should know about me,” Young said in his playful, joking way. “I don’t like doing interviews before the game. I’m superstitious. That’s the one key thing. I told you the secret. The big secret.”
His easygoing personality and energetic spirit is noticed by his teammates. “He brings our spirits up and he’s a tremendous scorer,” said Lakers big man Robert Sacre, who you’ll be hearing from a lot in this article in some animated exchanges with Young.
“He always has a smile on his face,” said forward Ryan Kelly. “His energy kinda brightens up the practice court, it brightens up the room and you always need someone like that on your team.”
The origin of Swaggy P- Young came up with the nickname himself, but he was hesitant to give the real reason behind this bizarre moniker. “I can’t really give you all that. You’re asking a lot of personal questions,” Young said. “Superman didn’t really tell people who he was. I’m super. Super Swaggy P. The name rings bells around here. It’s all in fun and something I came up with.”
Young even commented that some fans may not even know him by his actual given name anymore. “I don’t think they know my name anymore. I think it’s all I hear when I go out and play, Swaggy P.”
Young wants to be the next Deion Sanders- Though Young wouldn’t say what the P in Swaggy P stood for – it’s another one of his secrets – Young did say that he admires the former football and baseball star and current NFL Network personality. “I’m kinda like the new Prime Time,” Young said. “They call me the new Deion out here, man. Prime Time is like Swaggy P Sr. (laughs).”
“That’s who he is,” Lakers point guard Jordan Farmar agreed. “He’s a new-age Deion Sanders.”
Here’s Young proving he wants to be like Sanders via Instagram:
Young doesn’t use body lotion- In NBA locker rooms after games, it’s very rare to see players not using lotion to moisturize their skin after a long an arduous game takes its toll. If players don’t have their own bottles, they scavenge the locker room asking teammates for some. “Off the court, he doesn’t use lotion,” Sacre said. “So what happens is, he looks like he rolled in baby powder.” Good to know!
Young loves “Eastbound & Down” protagonist Kenny Powers- The recently completed HBO comedy is Young’s favorite show, and he sees a lot of himself in Powers, a fictional baseball player who was very much the showman.
When asked if he thought he had some of Kenny Powers’ personality, Young replied, “most definitely. We move to our own beat, man. We don’t care what people think about us, you just gotta embrace it.”
Young doesn’t wear socks- “When it comes to not playing, after games, he just wears no socks,” Sacre says. “All the time. I don’t think he owns socks. It’s disgusting.” Young wears socks on the court, but apparently his Southern California style is to not wear socks at all, according to Sacre.
Overhearing Sacre, Young asked him what he was just saying. “I talked about your ashyness, I talked about you not wearing socks,” Sacre replied, which Young was not pleased with. “The not wearing socks thing? You’re talking about all my secrets!”
Young’s love-hate relationship with Jordan Farmar- Both Lakers are from Los Angeles, but Young went to USC and Farmar attended UCLA. Even a recent article in Lakers Magazine highlighted the pair, calling Young and Farmar “Fierce Rivals & Fast Friends.”
“He brings a lot of positive energy to this team even though it’s been a lot of down, negative times,” Farmar said. “We had a good thing going ’til I messed it up.” That statement elicited an exchange between the two:
Young- “I don’t want his comments about me. We were peanut butter and jelly. I ain’t been his friend since last month.”
Farmar- “I tore my hamstring. I get hurt when I need him the most and he turned his back on me. That’s just how it goes.”
Young- “When I need him the most he turned his back on me. That’s what happened. He doesn’t listen.”
All their arguments are really in jest and the two get along really well, as evidenced by their Instagram holiday greeting from December.
Young has a lot of outlandish outfits- “He’s got some crazy stuff in his closet,” Lakers guard Kendall Marshall said. Farmar said that “he has crazy outfits, crazy backpacks, shades, gold chains.” After the Lakers’ loss to the Knicks on Sunday, Young had a shirt from an L.A. store called Kill City, which has some interesting articles of clothing if you browse through the site.
Young questioned this reporter’s usage of “flamboyant” as a way to describe his fashion sense, but Sacre thought it was quite apt. “That’s a great term for him,” Sacre said.
The Swaggy P Movement is spreading- Or at least Young says it is on this Sunday evening in New York, and he vociferously claims that teammates Farmar and Sacre have embraced the movement.
“I didn’t embrace (expletive),” Sacre said. “Put that on record.” That bold statement from Sacre elicited this exchange:
Young: “Look at that shirt! He wasn’t wearing tigers and stuff on his shirt before I came. I made him do that.”
Sacre: “No, no. You see the fur on my coat? I’m a pimp. Put that on record. They don’t know.”
Young: “And that’s what his P stands for.”
Sacre: “God only made one blueprint. I couldn’t handle the competition.”
Young: “See? I’m telling you! The movement is spreading like wildfire.”
Young went so far as to say that reporters will soon be embracing the Swaggy P Movement. “Next thing you know, you’re gonna have a leopard colored cardigan,” he told this reporter.
No matter what happens with the Lakers this season, we definitely know that Nick “Swaggy P” Young is always going to keep things extremely interesting.
On the court, Young is more efficient that most would think. You need to check out this column by colleague Jacob Eisenberg, which will make you think twice before you ever call Young a chucker again.
Shlomo Sprung is a national columnist for Sheridan Hoops who loves advanced statistics and the way they explain what happens on the court. He is also the web editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. A 2011 graduate of Columbia University’s Journalism School, he has previously worked for the New York Knicks, The Sporting News, Business Insider and other publications. His website is SprungOnSports.com. You should follow him on Twitter.