For the record, Swaggy P hasn’t officially retired from the NBA. While he gets up shots at the gym and waits for an interested squad to hit him up, Nick Young admits he can see the writing on the wall. If a team doesn’t give him one last shot to lace ‘em up, the NBA champion is going to officially call it a career after the 2019-20 season.
“This is pretty much like my last year, if nothing happened,” says Young. “I'm just going to call it, it's over. No more Swaggy P.”
In the meantime, the 34-year-old has been enjoying time with the family, working on his Most Hated fashion line, and throwing his hat into the world of podcasting.
Starting today, you can hear Young’s hilarious perspective and hot takes on all things basketball on “Certified Buckets.” Teaming up with WNBA baller and ESPN commentator Chiney Ogwumike, and Insecure actor Sarunas Jackson, Young will offer up his funny views about the game—on and off the court—via Spotify and Uniterrupted. In the crowded sports podcast genre, Young is guaranteeing he'll bring the heat just like his good buddy Gilbert Arenas, who has his own highly successful podcast.
“I told him I started him off,” jokes Young.
We caught up with Swaggy P before the debut of his new project to chat about what we can expect to hear, his scorching hot takes before the start of the NBA season, and when he knows it’s time to officially retire.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Who planted the idea of you being on a podcast and thought it would be a great idea to get your hot takes on the record?
It's something I've been wanting to do because I'm just at home right now and I thought I could be kind of funny. I got some good insights. It just kind of came around, you know, and the hot takes kind of…I tweet a lot of crazy stuff. I say a lot of crazy stuff. So who else you'd get a hot take from?
"I'm just all around cool guy that played basketball. Kind of a Dennis Rodman, I think changed the way people dress for the tunnel now. Everybody want to get dressed up and I post pictures on Instagram, and be outgoing. I think that I had a major effect with that."
There are a million sports podcasts out there, so tell me why yours is going to be different.
Because of me, really. No, the three of us bring something different, I think. Sarunas is the like the ladies man, he's all Insecure. He played basketball, played overseas. So I think he brings in a different demographic and, of course, Chiney, she's been on ESPN, [WNBA] Rookie of the Year. She knows about sports. She brings in that woman perspective, too. We all merge into something that's kind of cool.
With the season starting next week, give me a really hot take about the NBA from your observations about what's gone on from the summer through the preseason.
See, I didn't go off of anything that was going on now. I kind of thought about something that I didn't believe that was true and that was Wilt Chamberlain’s [had] 20,000 [sexual] partners. Well that was one of my hot takes. I didn't believe he had 20,000 partners.
What team do you think in the Western Conference is not getting the kind of respect that they deserve?
I'll say Houston. People don't believe in Houston. The talent they got, no matter if they've meshed or not, it challenges a little bit better than the rest of the NBA.
If you have one crazy NBA prediction for the season what would that be?
I will say either New Orleans making the eighth seed or Denver not making the playoffs.
I don't think the Warriors going to make it this year. If they do, it's the eighth seed.
Denver was the No. 2 seed last year in the West. To have them go from the No. 2 seed and to not making the playoffs this season that's a hot take.
That could be. They're scared of the Lakers, they're scared of LeBron. Every time Denver played LeBron, and they get killed. They're going to be scared of the Clippers.
Who is your champion?
I’m sure you guys are you're going to blend in off-the-court stuff like pop culture and music. How are you going to work in your love for fashion and style?
It’s going to play a role into it. The more things get poppin’, that's when the hot takes kick off.
Are you to giving your hot takes on the fits? Are we going to get a weekly rundown of who got off a great fit?
Yeah for sure. I'm going to give an MVP of the year with outfits. Sixth-Man and Rookie of the Year. I'm good at seeing who's hot dressing and all that. What I like pretty much and who's letting their stylist pick anything.
I'm trying to think of when your time in Denver started and when it ended, but what has it been like, basically about a year now, being away from the game? Are you still kind of itching to play?
Still itching, but it's getting towards to the point where it's like, I'm just working out for nothing and so I just want to get away from the house a little bit. So I'm glad I got stuff to do right now.
Have you enjoyed the time off, though? On Instagram, you're posting the shots of you and the fam be chilling and having a great time. I know you've been on other people's podcasts and doing some stuff and still getting up shots and working on your fashion line, but have you generally enjoyed the time away?
Yeah, for sure, for sure. I think it's going to be harder for me to, if I do get anything just pick up and leave because my kids and my family they're used to seeing me every day now. So I think that's the tough part, when you get comfortable and it has been a year and change. So I've been enjoying it. It’s halfway retirement.
What would it take to be fully retired though? I mean, to put in your paperwork with the NBA.
This is pretty much like my last year, if nothing happened. I'm just going to call it, it's over. No more Swaggy P.
I know you and I talked about this last summer: your legacy. If this is indeed it for you and we don't see you on an NBA court again, what do you think your legacy is or what do you want your legacy to be as an NBA player?
I'm a champion now. I'm just all around cool guy that played basketball. Kind of a Dennis Rodman, I think changed the way people dress for the tunnel now. Everybody want to get dressed up and I post pictures on Instagram, and be outgoing. I think that I had a major effect with that. I see people and it’s like damn, that had something to do with me.