Why Is D’Angelo Russell Only One On Hot Seat?



Why Is D’Angelo Russell Only One On Hot Seat? 



A controversial video has surfaced of a private discussion between Los Angeles Lakers teammates Nick Young and D’Angelo Russell. Young, who is engaged to Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, appeared to admit in the video to cheating on his superstar fiancé with a 19 year old woman.

The couple’s wedding date had already been placed on hold, since Iggy is busy touring, but now will the wedding be cancelled completely? That remains to be seen, but a recent tweet from her may spell bad news for Young:


The media is burning Russell (#2 overall pick in 2015) alive for “being a snitch”. Many are questioning Russell’s character, maturity, and even his future in the NBA. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith let loose with his thoughts on Russell’s behavior. Without knowing what has transpired, one might look at the vengeful media attention and get the idea that Russell just committed murder.

On the other side of the spectrum, everyone has chosen to turn a blind eye about Young admitting he was unfaithful.

If this video had been recorded by an anonymous figure instead of by Russell, it would be interesting to see how differently the media would have responded to the allegation of Young cheating. Would the media turn its sharp focus towards Young, or would they still choose to ignore his mistake?

Unfortunately for Russell and the Lakers, this drama is already ruining the team’s chemistry and on-court performance. After the video’s release, the Lakers lost to the Utah Jazz by 48 points, the worst loss of Kobe Bryant’s storied career.

According to ESPN, the entire Lakers team is now giving Russell the silent treatment. LA plays a home game versus Miami on Wednesday night.

None of this is intended to say that Russell does not deserve any backlash for the video, because he absolutely should be ashamed of how this has been handled. Reasonable questions are being asked, such as why he decided to record the video in the first place. From all indications, Young was clueless that he was being recorded while answering Russell’s questions.

Yes, Russell broke the “Bro Code”. Young’s deep trust was betrayed. We have yet to hear a comment on this story from Russell, so all we can do is take a wild guess as to what he was thinking. Even if he felt morally obligated to let Iggy know that she had been cheated on, he could have found an alternate way to communicate that to her without publicly releasing a video.

From now on, Russell will always have trust issues with his teammates. Whether playing with the Lakers or a different team (because after this, don’t be surprised to see the Lakers trade him this offseason), his teammates will put a wall between themselves and Russell. Everyone will be scared to open up to him, especially about private matters. A stain has been placed on Russell’s career, one big enough that he may never get rid of it.

NBA athletes are supposed to carry themselves around like role models. Young has a responsibility to be a positive example for all young fans looking up to him, regardless of if he wants to accept that or not. Yes, parents should be the number one source of role models for their children. But the point is, NBA players can’t escape the reality that kids everywhere closely follow their every move. What are we teaching kids by ignoring that a Lakers player cheated on his fiancé? Are they being taught that cheating in a relationship is okay as long as they don’t get snitched on?

Reading internet comments about “Russell the Snitch” has been disheartening, to say the least. The issue at hand is bigger than the Lakers, and bigger than sports. Families all over the country are being torn apart by divorce and unfaithfulness. How many professional athletes talk about growing up in a home without a father figure?

The point of view being shared here may be laughed at by some, but is too important to not bring up. Men cheat on women, and women cheat on men. It goes both ways. When a spouse or partner cheats, the victim never thinks it’s funny.

We wish this crime was not a part of our culture. In the (hopefully rare) situations when it does occur, we can shrug our shoulders and keep walking, or we can rise above the dirtiness and make it known to all that those actions are unacceptable.

The message NBA players need to be sending to fans of all ages, is happiness and honor come from treating women and families with respect. When hearing Young’s cringe worthy story, it’s refreshing to see videos like this from Utah Jazz player Gordon Hayward, who talks about the joys of being a husband and father.

I’m no fan of Iggy Azalea or her music, but one doesn’t have to be a fan in order to feel sympathetic towards her and the bad situation which Young has placed her into (If Iggy and Young break up, it is Young’s fault, not Russel’s). The rest of the world wants to rip Russell apart, but you can bet that Iggy is extremely grateful to know the truth about Young before she married him.

The media has decided to roast Russell for his actions, but will they continue to give Young a free pass? He doesn’t deserve one. 




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