ESPN reported Tuesday that the Los Angeles Lakers were "isolating" rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell after a video he took of teammate Nick Young admitting to infidelity became public last week, and the rest of the NBA was upset with Russell as well. Matt Barnes compared him to Derek Fisher (who Barnes takes issue with for dating his ex-wife), Marcus Morris says he'll never speak with Russell again, and former NBA player Olden Polynice said he would punch Russell in the face (h/t to Tom Ziller of SB Nation for rounding these up).
Russell has since issued several public and private apologies (while also stating he won't back down if the league or his team does decide to retaliate) and his backcourt mate Jordan Clarkson says the Lakers accepted his apology. Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley chimed in on the situation Friday, telling Adam Zagoria of SNY and other assembled media that while Russell made a mistake, the rest of the NBA should forgive him.
"The kid made a mistake, a serious, serious mistake and we as an NBA family are going to have to forgive him," Barkley said here Friday as part of a Turner/CBS media event. "Listen man, we all in this thing together, the players, and we a family and we as a family going to have to forgive that kid. We as a family got to forgive him so he can go forward.
"Now Nick [Young] is a different animal but we as players, we got to rally around him because I would like to see the kid reach his full potential. But that being said that cannot happen."
Russell made it clear in his apologies that he understands he's screwed up, and given the fact that he only turned 20-years old a little over a month ago, the rest of the league will likely forgive him in time.
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