OAKLAND -- The Warriors hired Nick Young to bounce off the bench and enter games firing 3-pointers, with the belief that plenty will go through the hoop.
Young in his Warriors debut Tuesday night granted his new team’s best wish.
“Nick was great,” coach Steve Kerr said after a 122-121 loss to the Rockets at Oracle Arena. “I was thrilled with his play. That’s what we brought him here for. Great shooter and he gave us great minutes tonight.”
Young led the Warriors in scoring, pouring 23 points in 26 minutes off the bench. The veteran guard shot 8-of-9 from the floor and, moreover, was 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. The six triples are a record for a Warriors player making his debut.
“It’s a great thing when you’ve got teammates telling you to shoot the ball and having that much confidence in you,” Young said.
The USC product is on his fifth NBA team and hoping for a season of revival, to change the narrative without totally sacrificing his “Swagy P” persona.
Young is 32 years old, in his 10th year and only once since his rookie season in Washington (2007-08) was he on a playoff team. That was in 2011-12 with the Clippers, where he was a late-season acquisition.
His career, up to this point, has been defined mostly by goofy moments on the court and his former relationship with the Australian rap artist Iggy Azalea, the two maintaining a high-profile courtship during most of Young’s four years with the Lakers.
The idea is to change that, to make Young better known for being a key component of a winning team. He’s off to a good start, even if the Warriors failed to gain the win.