D’Angelo Russell, a cautionary tale

Guys are teammates.

Guys are cooling.

Guys are shooting the shit, talking freely among some of their peers.

Guy records other guy whose speaking freely.

Somehow, some way, recording gets in the wrong hands and all hell breaks loose.

I want to say welcome to your 2015-16 Los Angeles Lakers, but that wouldn’t do this situation justice.

More like welcome to the pitfalls of being a part of the social media generation. Where everything is share-worthy, and everything is funny.

Ladies & gentlemen, welcome to DEFCON 3!!!

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D’Angelo Russell, the Los Angeles Lakers #2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, was hanging with a teammate, Nick Young. Nick, is currently engaged to Iggy Azalea. The Australian born, southern fried (when she rhymes) emcee of “Fancy” fame. You may have heard of her.

The other day, while in what would easily be perceived as a bro-safe zone, Nick spoke of some…things. Those…things, were documented by D’Angelo and somehow, later were released to a gossip site.

How the video footage was leaked, we don’t know. But the fact of the matter is, shit’s fucked up now things are all messed up. And all because of what was originally said to have been a prank gone wrong.

A prank. Involving a man who is engaged, saying something his fiancée might not find too kosher. On a camera he doesn’t know exists. Effin’ kids maaan!

Thanks to some insider knowledge from Postgame Pass, by Jill Munroe, we know that team camaraderie can be destroyed by things that have absolutely nothing to do with basketball. From gambling debts to messing with a teammates former sidepiece– it is extremely easy to throw off the chi of a professional locker room.

Now imagine the effects of what basically amounts to dry snitching on a teammate, even if done unintentionally. You can get in a fight with someone on your squad before you go telling on them. And word out of the city of angels, is that D’Angelo’s teammates are freezing him out. Giving him the cold shoulder at basically every turn. Can’t say that I’m surprised.

Even while steering clear of the cliché tales of males, teammates and locker rooms– success in sports, is built on the trust of the guy suiting up in the same jersey as you. And that level of comfort can be gained just as much off the practice court as on it. So the new question being thrown around sports radio is how does Russell get thru this?

“It’s tough. There’s a lot to learn. I’m sure [Russell will] evolve and grow and be better from it…the guys are understanding. We are all human beings. Everybody makes mistakes. Important thing is to show compassion.” – Kobe Bryant

Maaan, if it hasn’t been done already, his agent needs to seek the services of a good PR/crisis management firm. They need to call Olivia, Quin, Huck and the new guy.

Ultimately D’Angelo will be the chief deciding factor of how this situation will frame the rest of his career, as a player and brand. He’s needs to ball out next season and don’t do anything else stupid for awhile. Because there are definitely ways, this could affect him professionally if not careful.

As long as this is just an aberration, his long term career on the court should not be affected (this will definitely follow him though). I definitely think it’s safe to say, he can forget about any and all future bachelor party invites.

Lesson, hopefully learned:  this isn’t the playground, high school or college. The consequences of your actions at this level (both on and off the court), based on the situation, can equal comma(s) of damage. And what this means for Nick and Iggy (who are being treated as an afterthought in all of this), only time will tell.

“I can’t really show my face anywhere without people hating me right now.” – D’Angelo Russell

Welcome to the big leagues D’Angelo. You really broke out a camera though…smh. Ain’t no recording bih.

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