NBA / Jan 23, 2012 / 1:00 pm

Dime Q&A: Nick Young Speaks On The Haters, The Pac-12 & Why It Was Hard To Leave USC

Nick Young

Nick Young (photo. Keith Allison)

Back when Nick “Swaggy P” Young was still rocking a Trojans’ cardinal and gold uniform from 2004 to 2007, the USC athletic department was on top of the world. On the gridiron, the ’04 squad, led by Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, cruised to the BCS National Championship. One year later, the Trojans returned to the title game where they fell to Texas.

Meanwhile, USC wasn’t doing too shabby on the hardwood, either. After finishing 12-17 during Young’s rookie season, the Trojans steadily improved, going 17-13 the next year. Then, in 2007, Young and Gabe Pruitt led the Trojans to its first NCAA tournament appearance in five years, taking them to the Sweet Sixteen.

Not to rub it in, but it’s been pretty much downhill for the Trojans ever since. Plagued by sanctions, USC had its 2004 BCS Championship vacated, and the basketball squad hasn’t returned to the Sweet Sixteen since ’07. It goes without saying that Young picked a good time to peace out of the City of Angels.

After his junior year, Swaggy P declared for the draft and was selected by the Wizards at No. 16 overall. While some have questioned Young’s desire to rebound and pass – he’s never averaged more than 2.7 boards or 1.2 assists in a season – he has certainly proven that he can get buckets. Last year, Young led the Wizards in scoring, putting up 17.4 points per game. After failing to turn that performance into a payday, Young has returned to the Washington for his fifth season in the league. And so far he’s continued to do what he does best: score.

Through 16 games, Young, now a starter after beginning the season coming off the bench, is averaging 16.4 points per game. Before the Wizards loss to the Celtics on Jan. 2, we caught up with Young to hear his thoughts on the Pac-12’s decline, his relationship with Reggie Bush, and much more. And while it may not be on a playing field, Young revealed where USC is still ranked No. 1.

*** *** ***

Dime: What did you over the lockout to stay in shape?
Nick Young: Just worked out. Stayed in the gym. Did a little bit of cardio here and there. I played in the Drew League. I had 60 points in one of ‘em games. You probably seen one of ‘em (Laughs). Nah, but I tried to play in every game to get some full-court games in so I tried to play in everything.

Dime: What was your reaction to Jan Vesely‘s kiss on national television on draft night?
NY: Ah man, that was swag. I was like ‘dang.’ Hey, I liked that. That was cool. That was real cool for him to even have that swag, that European swag to do that.

Dime: Have guys been giving him a hard time in the locker room about it?
NY: A little bit, a little bit. I haven’t got my chance. You brought it to my attention. I kinda forgot so I’ma get on him.

Dime: You and Reggie Bush overlapped a little bit at USC. Were you boys?
NY: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s my dog. I was kinda happy for him when he went to Miami. He gon be all right.

Dime: Any sneakerheads on the Wizards?
NY: Yeah, I’d say Jordan Crawford is a big sneakerhead.

Dime: How bout you?
NY: Of course, of course. I’m by far at the top, and then I’d rank him number two. Andray Blatche three.

Click here for some of Nick’s insight into the Wizards’ locker room

Pages : 1 2
Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • stefan

    damn this is the third article today that I post something about the wizards.

    Almost all of the wizards players are part of the problem, nick young included. But I see him starting to take more shots and as a result helping the wizards. It’s just that right now everybody on that roster plays for stats, that’s how it looks like. If it was just nick young taking a lot of shots and trying to take over some stretches of the games maybe things would work out. Also Wall makes terrible decisions and he has no clue when to just give nick young the ball and get out of the way.

  • stefan

    oh and nice interview. for the haters out there, nick is number one… in sneaker collections.. and style… and shooting..

    number 1

  • Suberzat

    Nick young is no sneakerhead…he didn’t know when the concords was coming out last year and that’s the most sought after Jordan shoe
    Smh Nick…u just have money to buy shoes

  • First & Foremost

    Is he part of the problem? Yes/No, his role is to score. That is what he does. Would the team like him to branch out and become a complete basketball player? Who wouldn’t want a player to add something to their game.

    His assist totals – he does dribble the hell out of the ball but the offense isn’t designed to run through him. Not like ball movement is preached by other players on the team.

    Rebounding – Have you ever met a person with a fro that enjoyed other people touching their hair? Aight then.

    Running off series of screens isn’t his game. He is a self shot creator. He is top 3 in the league at taking the most long 2, off balanced, step back, fadaway, not facing the basket shots in the league. Some go in and some don’t. But have you seen anyone cut to the basket when he has the ball?

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    Im actually watching the documentry on Nick Young called -Second Chance Season-
    I didn’t know kid went through so much just to get into college. Very cool to see guys like Jordan Farmer back in HS too.

    As for his game, he does need to evolve. Scoring is only one small aspect of the game. It does make a huge difference in HOW you score and what TYPE of shots you get. If he did learn how to use screens better, he would help John Wall a lot and his teammates a lot. He just has to learn to be more unselfish.

  • Me

    He sounds like he has no idea that his game is very limited. Scorers are a dime a dozen. Be good at it-fine, but your other stats are fucking ATROCIOUS. Any NBA player should be able to luck his way into 2-3 assists and boards a night (on average), just being on the court.

  • Fleks

    horrible ball-hog… with style