Hawks guard Trae Young insists a story about a verbal altercation he had with coach Nate McMillan was overblown, tweets Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I mean, it was just a situation,” Young said Monday in his first public comments since the incident was reported (Twitter link). “I mean, we’re all grown men here. And there’s sometimes we don’t always agree. And it’s unfortunate that private situations and private conversations get out to the public. But I guess that’s what the world we live in now. But um, yeah, I’m just gonna just focus on basketball and focus on helping my team win. And that’s what I got to be focusing on.”
McMillan also downplayed the confrontation when he talked to the media on Sunday, saying it was a simple miscommunication.
Young had a disagreement with his coach on Friday that led to him sitting out that night’s game against the Nuggets. While Young was receiving treatment on his right shoulder, McMillan asked if he could participate in the pre-game shootaround, then get treatment during a walk-through in preparation to play. Young said he wanted to skip the shootaround and focus on his treatment, and then decide later if he would be available for the game.
McMillan wasn’t pleased that Young didn’t take part in the shootaround and reportedly told him not to come to the arena if he didn’t want to come off the bench. Young stayed away, and the Hawks said he was ruled out because of shoulder soreness.
The team didn’t take any disciplinary action against Young, and he’s expected to play tonight when Atlanta hosts Oklahoma City.
Young responded, “We’ll figure that out,” when Williams asked how he and McMillan will handle any future miscommunications (Twitter link).
In an appearance on Fan Duel TV (video link), Shams Charania of The Athletic called the dispute “a microcosm of the tension that’s existed” on the team. Charania adds that sources say McMillan’s job remains safe, so he and Young will have to work through their differences.
5 thoughts on “Trae Young Downplays Argument With Coach”
Both were in the wrong here. If your player doesn’t feel like he’s healthy enough to play without treatment, why make him do a shootaround first? And then doubling down with an ultimatum? C’mon McMillan.
On the other hand, Trae Young pulling an Iverson looks bad no matter what. At least he didn’t do what Iverson did and change before grabbing some nachos and watching from courtside.
Tough call on who is to blame. Somebody failed to inform McMillan what the decision was, so that falls on Trae somewhere. Other than that I don’t see insubordination or anything like that. If the team wants McMillan out it will happen. If its only Trae not liking McMillan personally, then there could be a long standing issue that needs to be addressed sooner, rather than later.
He’s one of the worst crunch-time play calling coaches in the league and he’s one of the worst coaches in the league at making adjustments (I would say he’s third behind Thibodeau and Budenholzer). They’ll likely let him play out his contract, but the Hawks aren’t winning anything with him as coach.
This was always a nonstory, even as I read the details, I said out loud “why is this being reported?”
I mean, just, but yeah…
Guessing he didn’t take communication or public speaking courses at any time during his school years.