The D’Angelo Russell Scandal… was he wrong or not?

By Ka’Oni Toussiant

The Scandal

I’m sure that many of you have heard of the recent D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young Lakers fiasco. I think that it’s safe to call it that. And if you haven’t, I’m definitely going to tell you. Last week a video surfaced on the internet. It was a video recording of Nick Young admitting to cheating on his fiancé rapper, Iggy Azalea this past summer with a nineteen year old girl. And you hear Russell ask him about another female and he says, “No. She knows my girl.” It had the social media world going crazy with commotion. No one knew who recorded and most importantly how it got out. But when everyone found out that the video was recorded on D’Angelo Russell’s phone, they had plenty to say. Both Russell, Young, And Azalea have given small comments about the situation, and I can say that Russell is going through the fire right now. He’s being shunned by his team, and he’s basically known as a ‘sell out’ around the world. All of this is because he seemingly broke a “man code” that every man just automatically knows about.

How was D’Angelo Russell at fault?

I’m not going to say that Russell was completely wrong, but his actions did raise some important questions? Some that he has already answered. I would like to know why the video was recorded. It’s very weird for a grown man to record his conversation with another grown man. There’s only one reason, and it has to be something malicious. Russell admitted to recording the video, he said that players record themselves doing things all of the time. Although I believe that players do record themselves all of the time, I don’t think that they record private conversations about infidelity. What makes the video even more interesting is the fact that Russell constantly repeats his questions. This shows that he wanted his question, and Young’s responses to be heard clearly. I don’t know why, but it makes me believe that he had planned to release the video. Does he have a personal vendetta against Nick Young? Or was it just a prank?  It’s a really scandalous situation. He was the number two pick in the draft, and while that’s amazing, he’s only twenty years old. He’s still a child, and he’s still immature. He was wrong to record a private conversation between him and his teammate because that’s his teammate. Your teammate is supposed to be like your brother and he’s supposed to be able to trust you. If he’s under the impression that he has your trust and that you guys are at a point where he can share personal information, then as his friend you don’t break that trust. That’s where I think the wrongdoing is, breaking the trust of his friend.

Why He Shouldn’t Be Shunned

Years ago, in 2003 Kobe Bryant was accused of rape. And while he admitted to cheating on his wife, he also decided to exploit Shaquille O’Neal for cheating. In a police statement Kobe Bryant told police, “He should have done what Shaq does…that Shaq would pay his women not to say anything” and had already paid up to $1million “for situations like this”. Just like in the Russell case, Kobe Bryant was wrong to mention Shaquille O’Neal’s affairs because it had nothing to do with the situation. But unlike Russell, Bryant was using Shaq’s situation to make his seem not as bad as it actually was. I don’t remember Kobe Bryant getting shunned though. He was more in the wrong than Russell if you ask me. Shunning to me is immature and unprofessional. For one, playing in the NBA is about way more than personal feelings or accolades. It’s a business. These grown men need to put on their adult shoes and play the game how it is supposed to be played. Although I am more than sure that one hundred percent of the team disagreed with his actions, they need to put their personal opinions away and continue to build their team. Also, I think that many people are forgetting about what the real issue is. Nick Young, a superstar NBA player cheated on his fiancé. That is the real problem. People are focusing too much on the fact that it was his teammate that exposed him and not the fact that he cheated on his fiancé. I don’t believe that he’s being held responsible for his actions, at least not publicly. He should be the one getting the negative backlash on social media, not D’Angelo Russell.

What needs to happen?

Their coach Byron Scott is handling the situation as it should be handled, and that’s by letting the men handle the problem like grown-ups. No one needs to have a sit down conversation with any of the parties involved. This situation is between Nick, Iggy and D’Angelo, no one else. It isn’t any else’s place to intervene in the situation, although they are certainly entitled to their opinions. That’s all that they are entitled to. I think that in the future it would benefit players to take their time choosing their mates. And by this I mean, don’t rush into an engagement or marriage if that’s not something that you’re really ready for. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in what’s normal. There had recently been a lot of players getting engaged and married and maybe Nick Young felt impelled to take the leap and propose. If he wouldn’t have cheated on his wife, all of this wouldn’t even be a conversation and there wouldn’t be a problem. It isn’t about what you choose to tell someone, it’s about what you do as a person. I think that this was a lesson learned for all parties involved.



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