Does James Young just not get it? Will he? Can he? Please?

James Young wearing his jersey of choice
As of today, James Young appears to be in a battle for the 15th roster spot for this upcoming Celtic season. It will be his 3rd year in the league, and even though he is not yet 21 years old, it feels like a big disappointment.

Young was the 17th pick two years ago, the young gunner with tremendous upside. While he has torn up the D-league, he has yet to even come close to finding his footing with the big boys. Even in his third summer league he managed to disappoint his coach and confound fans.

No word whether James Young is the reason that Jamie Young goes by "Jamie", but if not then this is very troubling. We know all the excuses regarding his slow start in his first year or two (coming off whiplash, he's just a teenager, he needs to put on weight, he needs to learn to defend, etc.), but this act is getting old.

You never want to be the team that gives up on young talent before it blossoms (shout out to Rick Pitino), but at some point we need to figure out if it is ever going to happen to Young while he is here. My gut is to say give him one last year to try and piece together how this game works, but then I read quotes like this from Adam Himmelsbach's recent Boston Globe piece.
“There’s definitely no pressure,” Young said. “It’s something I’ve been waiting on, and it’s finally starting to come, so I feel no pressure at all. I’m just going out there to play, play basketball. I’ve been doing it my whole life.”

Maybe not that bad, could just be him trying to play it cool. And why not? Passive and cool has done him so well these last two seasons.
“I don’t have to prove myself to nobody,” he said. “I’m out here to get wins, just to play team basketball, what the Celtics need me to do. I don’t have to prove anything to nobody. Just make my shots, go out there with confidence and just play the game.”

Actually, it would seem to me like your professional life is riding on this season. I would think proving yourself is EXACTLY what you need to be doing.

Now to be honest, those quotes were pulled from an article that was more positive than what I have been feeling here, and it is backed up with glowing quotes from his teammates and Danny Ainge regarding his progress. Young too makes note of where he feels he is and where he has come from since his start.
“It took me a while,” he said. “It took me two years to get it, just to observe the court and observe the game, watch a lot of film. I’m getting to the point where I know everything I have to do and need to do, and just go out there and just play hard and everything will fall into place.”

Like I said, he is still young and talented (Young will turn 21 in August), and hopefully that talent starts to emerge. I would just feel a hell of a lot better about the odds of that happening if he would show some urgency, and yes, prove himself a little bit. It seems his hurdles are mostly mental, and if it's not motivation he lacks maybe its confidence. He needs to get it going and get rolling ASAP though, as with the roster crunch the way it is, he may be the odd man out.

Photo Credit: Whitney Hayward/Portland Press Herald

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