He’s not the decent big man the Wizards so desperately needed, but fans got excited when Washington selected USC’s Nick Young 16th overall. Part of it is that he has “a smidgen of personality” and the other part is that he’s a high-flying shooting guard who makes one of the NBA’s most exciting teams even moreso. Given last year’s performance, that’s no small feat.
The new season gets underway Wednesday at Indiana (yes, already) and, Ivan Carter’s preseason reports are making me thirsty. From four days ago vs. Toronto:
Young finished with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting with seven rebounds and turned in one of the most spectacular plays of the preseason when he floated under the basket and banked in a reverse layup while drawing a foul.
If that’s not enough to send you to NBA.com for highlights — don’t bother, I already searched to no avail — here’s another report from the Carter; this one from Friday morning’s shoot-around (emphasis mine):
Young wowed teammates with a dazzling dunking display … and appears to be an ideal candidate for the slam dunk contest … The 6-foot-6 Young is an explosive leaper with long arms and big hands so he’s able to do some special things in the air. He also has some creativity as evidenced by his most impressive dunk during Friday’s impromptu show.
Young tossed the ball in the air, ran and caught it off the bounce as he was completing a 360-degree turn and then flipped the ball between his legs before throwing it down with one hand. He was serenaded with cheers from stunned teammates.
Once again, strange things are afoot at a Wizards practice (see: Gil’s one-handed shooting contest with DeShawn), and I couldn’t be more delighted. Even if Young is nothing more than a backup for Stevenson, he could be a bona fide slam dunk champion, which is something the Wizards have never had. Plus, if NY’s in it to win it, you know Arenas will get involved, and that’s to the betterment of us all.
Bonus: Bullets Forever shares old video of Young doing a behind-the-back 360. Good to know he has that in the arsenal.