It all went down around 2014, according to Swaggy (who told the story on the "Certified Buckets" podcast) ... saying he was motivated to play outta his mind after he saw RiRi sitting courtside at Staples Center.
"I had a good game, so [the reporters] asked me why ... and I said, you know, Rihanna was there."
Young says the shout-out got a reaction from Rihanna -- who actually hit him up afterward, but he didn't follow through because there was already another famous lady in the picture.
"She hit me back, but I couldn't go full throttle with it because I was like, in the beginning stages of my relationship with [Iggy]."
The hosts of the podcasts nearly lost their minds over Nick's revelation -- with Sarunas J Jackson saying straight-up, "WRONG ONE MAN!"
"You coulda been King of Barbados! You could have been first man of Barbados right now!"
Don't worry, Nick defended Iggy's honor -- "I think I did pretty good, though. It worked out for a little bit."