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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Report: Trae Young skipped game after exchange with Hawks coach

Trae Young in warmups

Apr 19, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young warms up prior to game two of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Miami Heat at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a solid start to the season, the Atlanta Hawks appear to be in danger of coming apart at the seams.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Sunday that Hawks star Trae Young had an exchange with coach Nate McMillan at a team shootaround on Friday. As a result, Young chose not to attend Atlanta’s game later that day against the Denver Nuggets.

Charania adds that Young, who is nursing a shoulder injury, did not seek to participate in shootaround and wanted to decide later on in the day whether he would play. But McMillan disapproved of this approach and reportedly presented Young with the options to either 1) play off the bench or 2) not show up to the arena. Young ultimately chose the latter, Charania says.

You can read Charania’s full reporting on the situation, in which he adds that Young was not disciplined by the Hawks for the incident, here.

Atlanta went on to win the game against Denver 117-109 to improve to 13-10 on the season (fourth in the Eastern Conference). It was just the second missed game of the year for the two-time All-Star Young, who leads the Hawks with 27.8 points and 9.6 assists per game.

McMillan is in his 19th career season as an NBA head coach. He took over for Atlanta in 2020 and has gone 83-60 (.560), leading them to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021. But it is probably worth noting that Young, the Hawks’ franchise player, had issues with McMillan’s predecessor too.

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