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Positive Reaction to Nick Young in DC

The Washington Post has had some reaction to the drafting of Nick Young, and the general vibe from the organization and the Post is positive.

From Dan Steinberg's Sports Bog:

With the 16th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, I just wanted the Washington Wizards to select someone with a smidgen of personality. They took Nick Young. Here's what I've found out about Nick Young.
  • He's dating Carol Rodriguez, Puerto Rico's 2006 Women's Athlete of the Year and one of the top collegiate sprinters in the country, who also happens to be a model.
  • He's been known to sport a mohawk now and then, and actually claimed credit tonight for making the mohawk fashionable. He's also had his initials and the Jordan Brand logo shaved into his head at various times, and he said he might bring back the mohawk next fall "just to fit in with the Wizards," which is the right way to approach this team.
  • He also has been known to wear skateboard gear featuring images of skeletons, and in fact said he used to skateboard when growing up in the San Fernando Valley.
  • He has a reputation for being quite the dunker, and told me that he has "immense hops" and "flying ability." "I should be in the dunk contest, maybe this year," he said, "doing some Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins."
  • He was the only player in the Green Room with a two-toned outfit; dark slacks and a white coat. "I come from L.A. this is how we do it in L.A.," he told me. "I'm more of mainstream Hollywood."

He'll come to grief if he tries to do any skateboarding around the Verizon Center - between the tourists and the nearby heavy police presence, he would either get some kind liability debacle or find himself on the wrong end of a discussion of whether skateboarding is in fact a crime. DC's finest are well known for their patience and debate skills, after all.

The director and co-producer, Daniel Forer, watched the draft tonight among the masses in Madison Square Garden. And Forer--a nine-time Emmy winner who used to be a producer/director for CBS Sports--is sort of high on this Nick Young fella.

"In 30 years, I've covered probably hundreds if not thousands of athletes; a handful of them had the personality and charisma, the infectious personality of Nick Young," he said. "And I can say Muhammad Ali, Brett Favre, Magic Johnson...."

"Come on," I said.

"Oh, you have no idea," Forer said. "Washington has no idea what they have now got in Nick Young. No one knows. He is one of the most wonderful, joyous people you will ever meet in your life. And he will make everyone forget about their problems and just enjoy watching him and the Wizards. It is a gift.

"It's hard to believe," he admitted as I stared at him. "I was there in Los Angeles when Magic started, the first year he arrived, and Los Angeles had no idea what they were getting. Washington has no idea what they're getting in Nick Young. He is a blessing, a gift. Now I'm not saying on the court, I don't know how he'll perform, but off the court he's just a special human being."

So I guess that Steinberg is generally enthusiastic.

The general reporting is in the same vein:

With a seven-foot wingspan and a 39-inch vertical leap, Young has been labeled an "exceptional" athlete by several scouting services. He also has a soft shooting touch, good body control and an ability to create his own shot -- skills that are necessities for the NBA.


"He is definitely a scorer," Grunfeld said of Young. "He's going to have to learn the system, learn the NBA game. He's going to have to pay his dues and earn his minutes. Nothing is going to be given to anybody whether you're a first-round pick, second-round pick or a free agent. You have to earn everything you get but he's used to doing that."