If we know anything about Nick Young after his first five season in the NBA, it’s that he likes to shoot. A lot. In those five seasons, never once has Swaggy P failed to shoot less than 14 times per 36 minutes, which is pretty impressive considering how often his minutes have fluctuated.
So it’s only natural that Philadelphia fans would be curious about their new chucker, upon his acquisition this summer. That’s why 76ers blog Philadunkia asked him about it. His response is great.
Philadunkia: You have a reputation for being a gunner. Are you working to tweak your shot selection?
Young: I’m not a gunner. It’s more of a confidence. I believe I can make those shots. When it’s in my hands, I believe nobody can stop me. I’m not going to lose that no matter where I go. I just go out there and play the game.
Philadunkia: At this stage of your career, at 27, can you change your game? Are you, effectively, “what you are?”
Young: You learn more every year. I’m just trying to go out there and play my game. I get buckets.
Want to know how you know you’re a gunner? When you’re asked if you’re a gunner and you say no then explain that “When [the ball is] in my hands, I believe nobody can stop me” and “I get buckets.” Those are like the most sure-fire gunneriest quotes possible as a response to that question, outside of saying “No doubt. I love shooting.” I feel like we’re in an episode of “Seinfeld.”
If Nick Young were a character from “D2: The Mighty Ducks,” he’d be Gunnar Stahl. If he was on a World War II bomber, he’d be the gunner. If you asked him to replace the first “R” in runner with any other letter in the alphabet, he’d choose “G.” He’s one of the league’s most-gunningest gunners and that’s fine. That’s why teams are interested in him, since he’s a cheap and reliable way to add scoring off the bench. Bill Simmons would call him an “irrational confidence guy,” which is really just a polite way of saying he shoots all the time. Those kinds of players have their place in the NBA, so there’s no need for Nick Young to worry about being labeled a gunner — it’s already happened.
However, if asking Nick Young if he’s a gunner is going to lead to him inadvertently confirming the question, then I say we keep asking him. The comedic possibilities are endless.