D'Angelo Russell publicly apologized to Nick Young for recording a video of Young allegedly admitting to infidelity. "I am sorry about recording the video. I can't repeat myself enough on that: I am sorry I recorded that video. I feel horrible. I wish this never happened," Russell told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo's the Vertical in a phone interview on Wednesday, adding that he felt "sick" about the way things went.
The video in question leaked approximately a week ago, but an ESPN report on Tuesday night revealed that it had led to Russell's teammates "isolating" him since it became public. In his interview with Wojnarowski, Russell took full responsibility and expressed regret for filming Young's comments.
"I never intentionally wanted to hurt anyone. I never wanted what was said in there to get out. It was my fault that it did, but that was never intentional," Russell told Wojnarowski. He also committed to learning from his mistake, as well as to "do whatever it takes" to earn back the trust of his teammates.
Russell reportedly privately apologized to Young earlier on Tuesday, an apology that Young reportedly accepted. However, Young revealed in a quickly-deleted tweet that his forgiveness may not be so immediate:
Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News reported as much earlier in the day:
No matter what Russell and Young say publicly, lots of skepticism around Young that he simply has accepted any apology.— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 30, 2016
And Young's brief statement to the media implies that at he and Russell have a lot more work to do on their relationship:
Nick Young not taking questions but says, "It's best me and D'Angelo address the situation in a private manner."— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 31, 2016
Nick Young: "What happened is what happened. We've got to work on it."— Bill Oram (@billoram) March 31, 2016
During remarks to the media, Russell made it clear he understands that forgiveness won't come overnight for him:
D'Angelo Russell: "I feel as sick as possible. I wish I could make things better right away but I can't."— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) March 31, 2016
Russell said he feels responsible for putting Young's engagement in jeopardy— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 31, 2016
Russell on whether he has been isolated by teammates. "There's been a bad vibe. Everybody has two cents to say & we just to clear the air."— Bill Oram (@billoram) March 31, 2016
He also repeated that he had no idea how the video became public:
Russell is adamant that the very ill-advised video was supposed to be between him and Young. He's adamant he doesn't know how it got out.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 31, 2016
D'Angelo Russell: "I'm not going to say I got hacked. I'm not going to say I leaked it. I don't know how it got out."— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) March 31, 2016
Young's forgiveness may take longer than a week to earn, if it ever comes at all. But Russell's remarks to Wojnarowski and the local media appeared to be those of 20-year old rookie who genuinely regrets his immature actions. Whether this is a permanent blight on Russell's career or just a bump in the road remains to be seen, but Russell took the first steps down that road on Wednesday. All of his comments to Wojnarowski are worth reading, and you can find them here.
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