Nick Young knows he’s swaggy. Whether rocking *NSYNC shirts or Kanye West Yeezy sneakers outside of his Los Angeles Lakers uniform, the Culver City native has been on a high since the ball dropped on 2016.
Despite having the second-worst record in the NBA’s 2015-16 season, his team has landed two wins in the new year at the Staples Centers. The Lake Show beat the Philadelphia 76ers 93-84 on New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) before their 20-point blowout against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday (Jan. 3) for a 97-77 win.
What Young has been not so humble-bragging about, though, is his shout-out on West’s new track “Facts.” Released on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31), the Metro Boomin & Southside-produced track finds ‘Ye going hard for the Adidas brand (home to his Yeezy Boost sneaks), and firing shots at his former collaborator Nike. The Chicago rap mogul also name-drops top-tier athletes including Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James, Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden and the one the Internet calls Swaggy P. It’s also no surprise that the Three Stripes sponsors Young and Harden. (To note, James boasts a lifetime deal with Nike, who also has a deal with Beckham.)
Young recently called up Billboard following practice to talk about his Kanye co-sign, planning his wedding with rapper Iggy Azalea and why the power of Yeezus has been uplifting the Lakers.
Where were you when you first heard Kanye West’s “Facts”?
Aw man, I was on my way home, trying to get dressed for my New Year’s event and a couple of my teammates called and texted me [about the song] and I didn’t know what they was talkin’ about. I was like, ‘Y’all playin’, y’all lyin’, man.’ They sent me the SoundCloud [link] and I was like, ‘Aw, it’s over. I’m the man now.’
“Facts” has become somewhat of an anthem for the Lakers.
Yeah, you know, we got our little Beats Pill, put that Bluetooth on, play “Facts” and we all get hyped up. It’s an international anthem. It’s for the world. We play it when we comin’ out. I’ma make sure the DJ play it on the layup line.
You once mentioned that if Kanye runs for president in 2020, you want to be the VP. Why would you and ‘Ye make a good team?
I’m more of a people’s person and I think you need that balance. He’s the aggressor, more like the talker, the more serious type [of] person. It’s like a good cop, bad cop [situation]. I could be the good cop.
What are your thoughts on Michael Jordan’s son, Marcus, responding to “Facts”?
There’s nothing you could really say about the issue. What [Kanye’s] been doing with shoes and clothes, 2015 was Kanye’s year. I understand [Marcus] defending his pops but I think we won this year. Adidas won this year.
Your fiancee, Iggy Azalea, has been hard at work on the new album. What does Digital Distortion sound like so far?
Aw man, it’s gonna be the best album of 2016. I got my Swaggy P feature on it so that’s why it’s gon’ blow up. [Laughs] I see how hard she be in the studio and I heard a couple songs. Couple surprises and a lot of features on there. It’ll be dope.
What’s wedding planning been like?
Whew, a nightmare in its own. I think we should go to the courthouse. [Laughs] It’s tough, it takes a lot of time and compromising and arguing but eventually the women always win. I think [wedding days] should just be women’s day.
Happy wife, happy life. Looking ahead, the Lakers takes on the Warriors on Tuesday (Jan. 5). Is there pressure to keep the momentum going?
Oh yeah, we playin’ with a high amount of confidence and that’s due to Kanye and Yeezy season leading this season. That’s what we represent as confident so we gon’ ball out and do our thang.