Except to Young – yet, at least.
D’Angelo Russell expressed his regret over secretly recording a video that went public of teammate Nick Young admitting infidelities to his fiance, Iggay Azalea. As Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson recalled, Russell “looked at us like men” and showed remorse for his behavior before the Lakers’ 102-100 overtime win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday at Staples Center.
“Everybody accepted his apology,” Clarkson said. “He has to handle it from where it’s at right now. He has to stop worrying about everything. He just has to perform on the court.”
Various sources have said Russell and Young have addressed the incident since the video went public last Thursday. Russell said in a pre-game press conference that he “reached out to” Young and “let him know my apologies.”
But a source close to Young has remained adamant that Russell has not apologized directly to Young. By Young’s own choosing, the source added Young was not present when Russell addressed the team before the game on Wednesday.
Russell owes only one Laker an apology: Young. Young is the only player Russell directly wronged, violating Young’s privacy and trust. If Young isn’t ready to hear that apology, I don’t blame him. He can wait as long as he wants to accept it – or never accept it. That’s his choice.
Russell’s responsibility with his other teammates is a slightly different one – earning their trust. He didn’t directly harm them, but they’re clearly wary of him now. Convincing Young to accept his apology would help Russell with everyone, but Russell can still improve his other relationships without Young’s forgiveness.
As he attempts to re-connect with his other teammates, Russell should keep trying to apologize directly to Young. Grovel if he has to. It’s the best way for Russell to dig himself out of this hole.
It’s also the right thing to do.