Nick Young Has a Legitimate Gripe Over Being Left Off the 75 Greatest Lakers List

In celebration of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 75th anniversary, the LA Times released a list of the franchise’s 75 greatest players as voted on by current and former staff members.

The names you’d expect to see at the top are there, with Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, and Elgin Baylor comprising the top five and Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James just behind at six and seven, respectively.

From there, we saw several additional All-Stars, NBA champions, NBA Finals MVPs, Hall of Famers, and future Hall of Famers, but we also got plenty of players who contributed to the franchise during some of the down or transitional years. Guys like Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel or Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.

But a name we didn’t see on the list at all, one that falls into the former category, was Nick Young, who spent four seasons with the Lakers and isn’t at all pleased with the omission.

And you know what? He’s got a legitimate right to be upset.

Nick Young is unhappy about being excluded from the top 75 Lakers list and has every right to be

Nick Young during a Lakers-Raptors matchup in November 2014
Nick Young of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates after making a three-point shot late in the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center on November 30, 2014 | Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Young joined the Lakers ahead of the 2013-14 season, his seventh year in the NBA. And despite only making nine starts, he averaged a career-high 17.9 points per game. This was, of course, the season Kobe Bryant played just six games, but it should be noted that Young had a higher scoring average than Pau Gasol, who posted 17.4 points per night.

His production dipped a bit over the next three years, but Young averaged 13.1 points, 1.0 assists, and 2.3 rebounds in 220 games (71 starts) during his four-year run in the Purple and Gold before choosing not to exercise his fifth-year option.

One argument I’ve seen on why Young didn’t make the list is that the Lakers weren’t very good during his tenure, which is accurate as LA went 91-237 in that time.

But you know how I mentioned Julius Randle a bit earlier? Well, Randle also spent four seasons with the Lakers and averaged 13.5 points in that time. But let’s not forget that Randle was teammates with Young for his first three seasons. And it’s not as if the Lakers were great in that fourth year, as they went 35-47 in 2017-18.

But while Young was omitted from the list, Randle took the No. 51 spot. So you really can’t say that Young was kept off because LA wasn’t competitive.

Now, that’s not me saying Nick Young should be up at No. 51. But for him to be shunned entirely is a bit ridiculous, especially when you see some of the names that came after Julius Randle. I’m not going to go through all of them, but let’s at least look at the bottom five.

RankPlayerSeasonsGamesPPGAPGRPG
71Lou Williams212516.82.82.4
72Horace Grant21326.71.55.9
73Mitch Kupchak41736.40.53.9
74Trevor Ariza31307.51.64.0
75Darrall Imhoff43167.62.09.4

You’re telling me Young can’t take one of those spots? Horace Grant? Really? So Shaq and Kobe don’t win that second title together without him? Come on. I’ll let you all fight over the rest in the comments.

And while you’re there, go ahead and discuss how Jordan Clarkson, another one of Young’s teammates on those losing Lakers teams, took the No. 58 spot. Or how Alex Caruso is No. 61. Or how Devean George is No. 68. Trust me. I could keep going.

Have thoughts on this topic? Keep the conversation rolling in our comments section below.