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#pounditSaturday, March 2, 2024

Trae Young responds to ‘coach killer’ claims

Trae Young handling the ball

Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA Today Sports

Trae Young is answering the question that many people have now that he is about to play for his third head coach in five career seasons.

The Atlanta Hawks star Young spoke with reporters Friday and reacted to the firing of Hawks head coach Nate McMillan. Young called the decision “surprising” and said that he had “nothing but love and respect for Nate.”

Additionally, Young responded to being labeled as a supposed “coach killer.”

“People are gonna say what they got to say,” he said of the label, per Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I mean, a lot of players have played for a lot of coaches. So, I don’t look at it like that. I’m not looking at the next coach that comes in here or whatever.

“I’m just trying to, I’m trying to win championships,” Young continued. “So, whatever it is, I’m just trying to win. So that’s all I care about.”

While there were many good reasons to fire McMillan, who had been flirting with .500 over the last two seasons, a heated incident between Young and McMillan in December appears to have hastened the move. Young also had some well-documented issues with McMillan’s predecessor, Lloyd Pierce.

For the 24-year-old Young, a 2022 All-NBA selection and multi-time All-Star who already led the team to a conference finals berth, the Hawks will likely continue to go as he goes. But perhaps the veteran coach Atlanta is reportedly trying to hire will be able to command more respect from him.

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