Trae Young not free of blame in Hawks franchise turmoil

Atlanta Hawks Trae Young

The Hawks are making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The on-court shortcomings have been well-documented, but the off-the-court issues are even more bothersome. Travis Schlenk stepped down from his role, Nate McMillan was reportedly considering leaving the team as well, and a recent article from Sam Amick of The Athletic revealed things are even worse than initially thought.

The Hawks owner, Tony Ressler, has given his son, Nick Ressler, a lot of say when it comes to basketball personnel decisions. The 27-year-old Ressler has had an increased influence, despite just being the Director of Business and Basketball Operations. Apparently, Nick Ressler played a pivotal role in the events leading up to Schlenk’s “exile” and eventual resignation.

Now, the Hawks are led by an inexperienced GM in Landry Fields, a first-time executive in Kyle Korver, and a 27-year-old with minimal qualifications. It’s embarrassing, and it gets even worse. At one point, I believed this turmoil could be used as a rallying cry for the players to put together a great second half of the season, but a recent article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has made me less confident in that scenario.

“The relationship between Schlenk and Young has deteriorated over recent months. Issues began following Game 2 of the playoff series with the Heat last year. In the return to Atlanta, Young chartered a private flight and did not inform the team, according to several people familiar with the situation. In the middle of the playoffs, Young was fined.”

Trae Young is the star and leader of this team, but he certainly hasn’t displayed the intangibles needed to lead a franchise. Regardless of how talented he is on the court, a lot of his actions have been considered immature and heavily scrutinized. It seems Young isn’t quite ready to be the face of an organization. Outside of sports, it would be ridiculous to expect a 25-year-old to steer a billion dollar business, but that’s what the Atlanta Hawks and a lot of teams have done with Young and other respective stars. Sometimes it works out; other times, it doesn’t.

With all of the dysfunction within the organization, it’s critical that the superstar provides stability. For Trae Young to reportedly charter a private flight during a playoff series is a terrible indictment of the kind of leader he is. It’s very obvious the Hawks are heading down a path toward a Supernova conclusion.

Photo: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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