For being as skilled as he is, nobody has been slighted more than Trae Young early in his career. Perhaps it is because he was traded for Luka Doncic, who has already turned into an MVP candidate, on draft night, or maybe it’s his smaller stature. But regardless of the reason, the national media loves to point out what Trae Young can’t do instead of all the things he excels at.
Young is a walking bucket, has elite handles, is one of the best at getting to the free-throw line despite being just a hair over six-foot, and there might not be a more skilled playmaker in the league. But instead of recognizing all of the unbelievable feats he has accomplished at just 22-years-old, the media has enjoyed creating faulty stereotypes about his inefficiencies and ability to play winning basketball, ignoring the fact that the Hawks roster was legitimately built to fail in his first two seasons in the league. The media has come up with excuse after excuse for why Young isn’t one of the NBA’s top point guards, and he’s torn them down one by one. Soon, there won’t be anything left for them to grab at, and this series against the Knicks is the perfect stage for him to address all of the nonsense that has been said about him since he was coming out of college.
Not every player has a killer instinct — a Kobe-esque smell for blood or a chip on the shoulder the size of my stomach after Thanksgiving dinner (I’m sorry for the visual) — and not every player needs it to be successful. However, Young has found a way to manifest all of that negative energy and use it as motivation, propelling him to new heights each season.
YOUR APOLOGY NEEDS TO BE AS LOUD AS THE DISRESPECT WAS… pic.twitter.com/EQszirVp1X
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) November 13, 2019
They said he was going to be one of the biggest draft busts in NBA history… Young put together a historic rookie season. They said he’d never be an All-Star caliber player… he was named an All-Star starter in just his second season. They said he was too inefficient to play winning basketball… he led the Hawks to a 41-31 record and the 5th seed in a very competitive Eastern Conference. Now, they’re saying he can’t propel Atlanta to a series victory over New York, and he’s here to break down yet another barrier.
Young thrives off of his haters. He’s had crowds chanting nonsense at him since he was in high school.
Trae Young was called overrated in high school… imagine that 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/unEPKlIHc8
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 23, 2021
Or what about when rival fans found out Young is apparently scared of birds and attempted taunting him with pictures? Yeah, he responded with 48 points and 8 assists on the road against Oklahoma State.
— SportsTalkATL Jake (@cantguardjake) May 25, 2021
So when Knicks fans thought they could rattle this young man in his first NBA playoff game by chanting profane slurs at him, they must not have done their research, which is why he salivated at the opportunity to quiet the entire arena in the final seconds.
“IT’S QUIET AS F-CK IN HERE” 🤫🥶 pic.twitter.com/ZbNv16tIxO
— SportsTalkATL.com (@SportsTalkATL) May 24, 2021
I don’t expect Knicks fans to stop, but if you keep poking the bear, you better be able to deal with the consequences, and this latest message from Mayor Bill de Blasio may just be the nail in New York’s coffin.
NYC Mayor de Blasio, while wearing a NY Knicks hat, shades ATL Hawks’ star Trae Young:
“Stop hunting for fouls.” pic.twitter.com/i5TcB7AIoz
— The Recount (@therecount) May 25, 2021
Just another narrative around Trae Young that people have created to tear him down. But if you don’t like it, you can always simply… not foul.
It’s also hilarious that de Blasio decided to say this after Game 1, which didn’t even feature any of Young’s signature moves that typically draw fouls. He cooked the Knicks’ top-ranked defense fair and square, but this will only add more fuel to a fire New York really doesn’t want to deal with. There isn’t a player more prepared to handle the pressure that comes with Madison Square Garden than Trae Young. He showed it in Game 1, and after these comments, I’m sure he is eager to prove it again in Game 2.