Warriors' Nick Young content with diminished role

Golden State Warriors' Nick Young during media day Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Oakland. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


OAKLAND — With his outgoing personality, eclectic sense of fashion and a smile that never goes away, Warriors forward Nick Young seems to be the perfect candidate for his own reality television show.

Apparently, numerous television executives agree. Young said they have approached him “plenty of times,” a not-so-surprising revelation considering his Swaggy P persona and his previous ties to the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I got to get the best offer,” said Young, as he sported a Warriors T-shirt as his own bandana. “I can’t just go anywhere. I got to take my talents to the best place.”

What will be the asking price?

“I need Kardashian prices,” Young, said laughing.

Warriors guard Klay Thompson said he would at least watch the trailer, and some of the storylines already seem entertaining enough.

One will touch on his Twitter followers advising him to try out Bob’s Donuts (“Bob’s is pretty good; it was warm,” Young said). The other could focus on Young’s early acclimation with the Warriors after spending the previous four seasons with the Lakers.

The latter episode would yield more plot twists, not all of which spark a positive review. Young described his first month with the Warriors as “tough.”

Before Monday’s game, Young averaged 5.2 points while shooting 41 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point range in 12.2 minutes per game in nine appearances.

Should those numbers hold up, Young will have a career low in points and playing time in his 10th NBA season.

And yet Young has not complained about Warriors coach Steve Kerr placing him on the depth chart behind second-year guard Patrick McCaw for a few practical reasons.

“I’ve been in this situation a couple of years back, but this is a championship team,” Young said after morning shootaround on Monday. “I sit back and watch these guys and how they go out and play and how they work. It helps me, too.”

Young signed with the Warriors — on a one-year, $5.2 million deal that represented the team’s mid-level exception — understanding this reality.

After playing for a Lakers team that went through their worst-stretch in franchise history (91-237), Young craved a place where he had a shot at winning an NBA title.

The Warriors also signed Young to boost their secondary scoring, though Kerr has noted Young’s struggles with his shooting and conditioning. Since Young’s demotion, though, Kerr said he has become more encouraged with how Young has reacted than discouraged with his early returns.

“Nick’s an awesome human being. He always has a smile on his face,” Kerr said. “I’ve talked to him several times this year. He’s taking everything well. He’s figuring it out in terms of how we play and, also, it’s a new role for him.”

Because of that, Kerr shared his own sympathy as a former shooting specialist during his 15-year NBA career that centered on adjusting to roles and sporadic shooting opportunities.

“It’s great for a coach to talk to you and let you know where you’re at and not keeping you in the dark, like some coaches I know,” Young said. “I’m not just going into the game blindsided. He pretty much talks to me everyday, harps on me on everything I need to do in different situations.”

Young did not name those other coaches. But after openly ranking Kerr, Lakers coach Luke Walton and Houston coach Mike D’Antoni high on his list, Young clearly referred to his other former Lakers coach in Byron Scott. During Young’s two seasons under him from 2014-16, the two clashed over his role, his play and his personality.

While Scott harped on Young’s shooting inconsistency and defense that led to poor performances in 2014-15 (13.4 points on 36.9 percent shooting) and 2015-16 (7.3 points on 33.3 percent shooting), Young eventually thought Scott made him the scapegoat for the Lakers’ problems.

On the Warriors, they have mostly remained patient and understanding of Young’s early hiccups.

“It takes some time. But I think he’s very well intentioned on trying to understand the intricacies of the offense and how he can be effective, not just with scoring the ball, but being a threat on the floor at all times,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. “Sometimes it takes a minute to get adjusted to how much we move and how much of it is unchoreographed.”

To accelerate that learning curve, Curry said that Young is “asking questions and asking how he can get involved and figuring it out.” But as Curry noted, “it takes time to understand that in real game speed when it’s not just 5 on 0 and there’s defenders out.”

Young also sounded confident that will happen.

But he has outlined the difficulty he has faced in adjusting to the Warriors.

Beyond learning to fit into a faster-paced system and a more talented roster, Young squeezes so-called off-days with 3-on-3, conditioning and weightlifting drills to shake off the rust. He also has forced himself not to feel discouraged with his poor shooting numbers.

“My mindset is I got to be the microwave when I get in,” Young said. “I’m used to playing that sixth man role and come in and score in bunches. I just have to adjust to the style of play first.”

And if so, Young might have a reality television crew ready to document it all.