Los Angeles Lakers rookie D’Angelo Russell responded to the leaked video he filmed of teammate Nick Young talking about other women.
In the video, Young, who is engaged to Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, appears to be speaking about women he’s presumably had sexual encounters with. At the end of the video, Russell reportedly says “I’m glad you told my video all that,” when Young reacts, confused, and the video ends.
The video, which was posted by a celebrity gossip site, reportedly turned the Lakers on Russell, with an ESPN report saying teammates were isolating Russell.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski interviewed Russell on Wednesday, and Russell addressed the incident, apologizing profusely.
“I am sick,” Russell said. “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 didn’t have much of an explanation for how the video leaked. Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy reported on Wednesday that Russell uploaded it to his Snapchat, which was then hacked.
“Honestly, I have no idea. Me and Nick, that’s our friendship: We play around a lot. Anyone who knows him and knows me, they know that about us. But I apologise for recording that video. 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.
“The thing is, we record ourselves doing dumb stuff all the time. On the road or home, wherever. We go back and watch what we did and said and laugh at ourselves. I guess I just never thought that these pranks we pull on ourselves could have bigger consequences. That was a big lesson I learned.”
According to ESPN, following the leak of the video, Russell recently ate by himself at a team breakfast. ESPN also reported that in one instance, Russell sat next to teammate Lou Williams, who abruptly stood up and left as Russell sat down. According to multiple reports on Wednesday, NBA players clearly felt Russell had violated an “unwritten” code.
Russell acknowledged the steep climb he has to rebound from the incident.
“I know that it will take some time to regain trust and confidence. I hope they know I would never intentionally hurt someone — and know how horrible I feel.”
Russell also said he apologised to Young, who “heard [him] out,” with Russell saying he cherishes their friendship. According to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, Young may not be so willing to accept the apology:
No matter what Russell and Young say publicly, lots of scepticism around Young that he simply has accepted any apology.
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 30, 2016
Russell seems genuinely sorry for the incident. However, he clearly will have to work to regain the trust of teammates and players who felt he messed up.
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