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NBA champ Nick Young taking boxing very seriously, doesn’t want to end up like Nate Robinson

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Nick Young understands exactly what it means to “get posterized.”

The popular term, originated from basketball, essentially acknowledges when one player slam dunks the ball over another in spectacular fashion.

Now, “getting posterized” has been adapted across many sports. As a former first-round draft pick and NBA champion, Young has been on both sides of that coin, because those images and videos always seem to live on forever.

These days, the 37-year-old Los Angeles native has put down the basketball and instead picked up a pair of boxing gloves as he prepares to become the latest crossover athlete to test himself in combat sports. Young certainly isn’t the first hoops star to make this move, but he’s learned through painful experience that just like playing in the NBA, you better take the job seriously – or somebody is going to make you pay for it.

“Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes they throw me in there for sparring sessions against professionals, and you realize how far you are from being a real boxer,” Young told The Fighter vs. The Writer. “But for the most part, I’ve been having fun.

“It’s good trying something new, learning something new. After basketball, finding something that gives you that same kind of excitement, so it feels good.”

On Saturday at the rescheduled Social Gloves card taking place in his hometown with the event airing on FITE TV, Young will face rapper Blueface in the co-main event of the latest show headlined by a group of social influencers who have followed in the footsteps of people like Jake and Logan Paul.

Young also joins fellow NBA veterans like Deron Williams and Nate Robinson, who have also tried boxing with varying levels of success. While Williams looked good in his lone bout this past December against NFL running back Frank Gore, Robinson suffered a much worse fate when he was faceplanted with a brutal knockout delivered by Jake Paul in his first foray into the sport.

Seeing the success and failures of people coming from the same background serves as a cautionary tale for Young, who spent the last few months training incredibly hard to ensure that he looks good in victory like Williams rather than getting posterized like Robinson.

“Give Nate his credit for just getting in the ring but I know it’s tough,” Young said. “It’s tough losing like that. Cause that’s all you get known for. Nate’s been a slam dunk champion, been playing in the NBA for so long and now all people know him for is he’s the guy that got knocked out by Jake [Paul].

“That’s always going to be in the back of somebody’s head. It’s in the back of my head. At the same time, you come out victorious, things change for you. It’s ups and downs. You can become a meme in a good way or a meme in a bad way.”

Young promises he’s been dedicated to boxing ever since he first set foot in the ring. It started as challenge made by his manager when he was looking for something to keep him in shape after the basketball season was over.

At 6-foot-7 and over 200 pounds, Young has the size and athleticism that towers over most anybody else attempting to learn the sport. But he also acknowledges that natural gifts will only get him so far once the punches start flying.

Still, Young has enjoyed himself so much that he’s looking at his upcoming fight against Blueface as the start of a new career rather than living out some fantasy about competing in boxing for a single night.

“Definitely not one and done,” Young said. “I want to see how far I can go with it. It’s fun. Once I pop my cherry and get past the first one, I want to call out some more people and have fun with it. Become the undisputed boxing basketball champ.”

Ahead of his fight on Saturday, Young has already seen Williams ask for the winner, which is an intriguing matchup as he seeks to establish himself in a new sport.

Young also loves the idea of facing a social influencer like YouTube star turned boxer KSI, who recently fought twice in one night while picking up a pair of knockouts. In fact, he even took a shot at KSI just after his event ended, and once he gets some experience under his belt, that’s definitely a fight he would like to pursue.

“He was fighting people off the street,” Young joked when addressing KSI’s wins. “To have two fights in one night, that shows you he wasn’t really fighting nobody.

“KSI, I felt like he didn’t fight nobody. It would be a good fight to see him fight Austin McBroom or Jake [Paul] cause he’s won a fight. Cause that wasn’t nothing. I’m all for [a fight against KSI]. The better I look, the more money I make.”

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