Nick Young vents on 'respect'
SALT LAKE CITY -- After fouling out for just the third time in his seven-year career and having to watch from the bench as the Los Angeles Lakers lost 105-103 to the Utah Jazz on Friday, Nick Young let his frustrations be heard.
"It's just the respect factor," Young said after his night ended with him picking up his sixth foul with 5:45 remaining in the fourth quarter after he had scored a team-high 21 points on 10-for-17 shooting. "I feel like we don't get the proper respect that everybody else gets when it comes to certain things out there on the court. It plays a major role. I'm not going to call no names; I'm not going to say it was the refs' fault or nothing, but just watch the game over and see what happened out there."
What happened was L.A. played another game without four of its best -- and most well-known -- players in Kobe Bryant (left knee fracture), Pau Gasol (upper respiratory infection), Steve Nash (nerve root irritation) and Steve Blake (right elbow injury), and lost its fourth straight game and for the ninth time in its past 13 games overall.
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Young said he had a conversation with one of the referees in the fourth quarter about what he believed to be a disparity in the way the game was being called shortly before picking up his sixth foul for contact with Utah's Marvin Williams.
"For me, it's hard," Young said. "For me speaking my mind out there, and then at the end of the day, three minutes later, getting fouled out. I played the major role. Like I said, we're just fighting for that [same] respect as everybody else out there, and sooner or later we'll get it."
Young also fouled out Nov. 8 of this season in New Orleans. Before that, he had not fouled out of a game since March 8, 2008, during his rookie season with the Washington Wizards.
"We just wasn't getting no calls tonight," Young said.
The Lakers return to Staples Center for four straight home games starting Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers and can bring their record to .500 at 17-17 if they win them all.
"We can't lose," Young said. "We got to take care of home court. This game has got to hurt. This game has got to make you want to go out there and kill somebody the next game."
Young said the Lakers will strive to improve others' perception of them as much as they will try for victories. They go hand in hand.
"It's just the way people view us," Young said. "We're trying to change the way people think about us. At the same time, we're all fighting for something. We're all fighting for that respect and our names on the back [of the uniform]. It's a pride factor that kicks in."
Young said the relative anonymity of the players on the Lakers' roster who are actually healthy and playing has hurt their chances. L.A. played with its 15th different starting lineup in its 30th game Friday, including its sixth different starting group in its past six games.
"Without Kobe out there, we're just [ignored] out there it seems like," Young said. "I don't get the same respect as everybody else, and my teammates feel the same. We was all frustrated, but at the end of the day, nobody wants to get fined, nobody wants to talk trash about what happened out there. We're just taking it, and that's the tough part."
Contrary to Young's contention, L.A. was called for fewer fouls (19 to 25) and shot more free throws (23 to 20) than Utah on Friday.
Young, who makes the veteran's minimum of about $1.1 million this season, said he was aware his comments could cost him.
"I don't want to lose no money," Young said. "I'd seen [Memphis' Zach Randolph] get fined $25,000, so I need my little checks coming in."