There’s a new era in Atlanta Hawks basketball. Quin Snyder took over for Nate McMillan and has already dug his talons into the club, aiding in Dejounte Murray’s team-friendly contract extension. Now, it’s Trae Young, DJM, and Snyder tied at the hip, but don’t get it confused. It’s still Ice Trae’s team.
“I told Trae, continue to learn who your teammates are, trust your guys,” Murray said. “We’re here for him. Trae built what he built in Atlanta. He earned what he earned, he earned the right to be the head of the snake, and I let him know that. I think that’s important.”
It’s important in any professional sport for individuals to know their roles. Obviously, Murray isn’t some mediocre asset. He’s an All-Star, but Trae Young is a superstar, an All-NBA caliber player, and deserves to shoulder most of the responsibility and whatever comes with it — praise and blame.
Guys like Jordan Poole, who don’t understand their role, are terrible for team chemistry. He’s a talented player, but there’s a reason Golden State shipped him off. The Warriors place chemistry over just about anything, and it’s why their selfless way of playing basketball has netted four championships since 2015.
Nobody knows what the rest of the offseason will bring. Pascal Siakam is a popular trade target among Hawks fans, but there’s no guarantee any significant acquisitions are coming down the pipe. Regardless, it starts with the two stars. It’s up to Snyder to maximize their skill sets, but there is an equal amount of responsibility on Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.
“It starts with me and him,” Murray said. “And it starts [with] chemistry, off the floor, making sure we’re available, making sure our teammates see who we are. The work ethic, the work we’re putting in, and just wanting one another to keep getting better but also lead by example.”
Photographer: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire