In his first ever appearance in the postseason, Trae Young put on a Broadway show in New York, establishing himself as a superstar on the sport’s biggest stage — Madison Square Garden.
He led the Hawks to an upset victory over the Knicks in which he averaged over 29 points and nearly 10 assists while shooting 44.1% from the field and 34.1% from beyond the arc. An ESPN graphic went viral where 99% of “experts” picked the Knicks too, which just added more fuel to the fire.
He became enemy #1 in New York, but Gilbert Arenas reminded everyone just how special Young’s performance was and how others would’ve been heralded for it.
“You know what’s crazy about that New York series? If that was any other player–if Luka did that to NY Knicks – they would be a god. It’s crazy how you went into the Garden & really f**ked them up… Most of [the] media is NY. …They personally took offense to what you did in the Garden.”
Gilbert Arenas: "You know what's crazy about that New York series? If that was any other player–if Luka did that to NY Knicks–they would be a god"
Trae Young: "I know 😆…"
Gil: "…It's crazy how you went into the Garden & really f**ked them up…Most of media is NY…they… pic.twitter.com/Q6Tkeec2jA
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) August 10, 2023
Ice Trae earned his namesake as the MSG crowd chanted “F**k Trae Young” all series long while he dismantled the Knicks on the court, ending the legendary performance with an exclamation point, sinking a runner with less than a second left in the game.
TRAE. YOUNG. BALLGAME. pic.twitter.com/tk3fZdGL6U
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 24, 2021
For whatever reason, people love to hate Trae Young. He’s honestly become underrated. He’s accomplished so much before the age of 25, including leading the league in total points and assists, averaging a career 26 points and 9.3 assists per game, and has the fourth-most 30-point and 10 assists games behind only James Harden, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook.
Arenas is right. If Ja Morant did what Trae Young did, he’d be heralded as a superstar hero. Morant has never sniffed a conference finals, but somehow everyone outside of Atlanta thinks Morant is head and shoulders better than Young. The Hawks star is just held to a different standard for whatever reason.
Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon SportsWire