Trae Young reportedly refused to be on the court after an altercation with coach Nate McMillan, skipping a game with the Denver Nuggets. Needless to say, speculation was quick to arise on social media.
Young and McMillan have downplayed the incident ever since. But this isn't the first time that the 24-year-old superstar has defied authority within the organization, and it's starting to become a worrisome trend.
Moreover, in a recent conversation between former NBA player Raja Bell and The Athletic's Sam Amick, it seems like even other Atlanta Hawks players are on McMillan's side in this alleged feud.
NBA News: Hawks Players Side With Nate McMillan On Beef With Trae Young
(Transcript via Fadeaway World)
Raja Bell: Is there any sense of where the team falls on this? I saw something similar with [Zach Wilson] and then he came out with the media and got really combative, and you started to see when they put Mike White in that the team didn’t really have his [Wilson’s] back. There are situations that I’ve been in where a player is stepping up and acting a way towards a coach that is kinda a reflection on the way the team feels about the coach, and there are other situations where a player will act like that and the rest of teammates are like, “Nah, we don’t f*ck with that.”
Sam Amick: I think the answer’s pretty clear that the players — if they were picking sides on this — to be honest with you, they’d be on Nate’s side.
Chandler Parsons Says Young Needs To Be More Mature
Former Hawks player Chandler Parsons also claimed that Young needs to be more of a leader but also called McMillan out for how he handled the situation with the franchise's most important player:
"Nobody likes shoot around... But it's more of like a walkthrough, going through offensive sets. Trae, he can't do this, he's my guy. [The Hawks] have invested way too much in him, they've given him the keys — this is his fifth season, you can't let your teammates down," Parsons said.
“I also don’t like the idea of McMillan saying like, ‘You can come off the bench or don’t show up to the arena. Giving your star player these days an ultimatum probably is not the best idea either," Parsons added. "Trae’s gotta mature a little bit. He’s also been through issues and got Lloyd Pierce pretty much fired. The fact that he's — I think he’s gotta be bigger in this situation.”
At the end of the day, winning basketball games is all that matters. The Hawks have given Young the supporting cast he needs to thrive and even fired his former coach after a tough stretch, so it's time he starts delivering.