Cleat Geeks

The Lakeshow Weekly: The Russell Debacle

If you have watched Sports Center even once between yesterday and today you would have been inundated with a story about a 19 year old NBA player who made a mistake. LakersRussell The Russell and Swaggy P dilemma brings forth an underlying cultural view that we don’t often get to address as sports writers. The way this story has unfolded, has both former and current NBA players taking sides, and sharing what they think about the situation. Trust is the underlying issue, most players have addressed as being the big problem the Lakers franchise faces. Reports of Lou Williams moving away from Russell in the locker room as he sits down, have aided in this narrative that the team no longer trusts Russell because he is a “snitch”.

Russell is obviously responsible that the video was leaked in the first place, there is no denying that. Whether or not he directly leaked it or his phone was hacked, it’s his responsibility that the video was not leaked to the wrong people. Russell has done a great job, in my opinion, owning up and apologizing. Hearing him talk in the press conference yesterday, I don’t think anyone can say they heard anything but genuine remorse and frustration with the situation.  That takes no blame off of him for the situation, but he did handle it the best he could. He accepted responsibility, apologized and said he had learned his lesson. Whether he did or not obviously remains to be seen. I’m sure Russell has lost the trust of some people in the locker room but understand something, the Lakers are not trading D’Angelo because he “can never be trusted” that is the mentality of a 5 year old.

The kid made a mistake but to say no one will ever trust him again is nonsensical. To say that grown adults will never again trust a kid who made a mistake, foolish as it may have been, has me wondering what mentality NBA players have? Seems like it takes a weak minded individual if you can’t look past something that doesn’t even affect you. You don’t need to love the kid as your own son, you need to play basketball with him.  Guess what NBA free agents, don’t tell Russell your personal matters.  Laugh, joke, hang out and act like nothing, just don’t tell him anything about your personal life. I am pretty sure it’s that simple. You’re telling me you can’t set foot in a locker room because he can’t be trusted? Grow up.

JahlilOkaforSince when is it news that you shouldn’t tell a 19 year old you’re cheating on your fiancée? Yet now suddenly he will never be trusted? He’s 19 years old. Remember when Jahlil Okafor drove 108 MPH over a bridge? I think we may have spent one day discussing that issue. Yet Okafor literally put other people’s lives in danger. I didn’t hear one writer mention that the Sixers should trade him because he’s immature. Okafor then got in a fight with a couple of hecklers at a bar. Still nothing. Why the double standard?

This “snitches get stitches” mentality is childish. Plain and simple it’s the mentality of immature people, to disguise they’re wrongdoing.  Swaggy p why are you telling anybody you cheated on your fiancé? Let alone a 19 year old.  Everyone has secrets I’m not denying that and what people do in their own spare time is nobody’s business. However, to tell a 19 year old to keep a secret about something as serious as that, is just as immature as the 19 year old letting the video get out.

Iggy-Azalea-and-Nick-Young-GQ-Magazine-March-2014-3This talk of trading D’Angelo Russell because he’s a “snitch” has me wondering about the mentality of the culture at large. It seems to me some people care more about snitching than cheating? Set aside the personal aspect of the story, from a basketball perspective: you’re trading a 19 year old rookie point guard because a sensitive video was leaked? The situation honestly as a Lakers fan is an embarrassment. But what is even more embarrassing to me is the reaction of certain Lakers fans and even grown adult NBA players who are talking about how “he can never be trusted”. Colin Cowherd made a great point this morning. He said are you even a good friend if you are putting your “friend” in jeopardy by telling him information as sensitive as that?

The victimization of Nick Young needs to stop. I am not saying he’s the villain, I’m simply saying one thing is for sure, he IS NOT the victim. Both are at fault in this situation but honestly the underlying issue is where are we at culturally? Which is more immature? The 30 year old telling someone else about the other girls he’s been with? Or the 19 year old who made (what seems to be) an honest mistake commonly made by someone who is 19?



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