Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young was made to be a heel

Atlanta Hawks Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young has been a polarizing figure since his college days at the University of Oklahoma. They wondered how his shot-heavy game would translate at his size. Written off as a knock-off Steph Curry, Young has quickly changed the perception of him into one that is all his.

After taking heed to the pleas of teammates and adhering to the teachings of his head coach, combined with his own tremendous work ethic, Young won his first two playoffs series, set multiple records, and ended the seasons of two teams with rabid fanbases.

To that end, Young made his return to Madison Square Garden, whose lights he helped turn out some three months ago, on Friday night.

Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young makes you want to root for the “bad guy”

The appearance was during WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown as Young was brought out by wrestler Sami Zayn, much to the chagrin of the MSG crowd. They still remember the Hawks superstar averaging 29.2 points and 9.8 assists against their Knicks.

Or that he saved his best for last, going for 36 points and nine dimes in the deciding Game 5.

That series gave us “The Shush” and “The Bow”, both career-defining moments in a journey that is still early. Young not only rose to the challenge but embraced and fed off of the energy from opposing fans.

On Friday, he sat ringside, waiting for his moment to spoil yet another night at the Garden. This time it was meant to be that of Rey Mysterio.

Instead, Young got tossed by the ref for interfering.

It’s yet another event in what has been quite the monumental offseason for the soon-to-be 23-year-old. Back in July, he appeared at Rolling Loud via video to announce a new WWE Pay-Par-View that will take place on New Year’s Day in Atlanta.

Young then inked a five-year, $207-million extension at the beginning of August ensuring he and his lob partners John Collins and Clint Capela will all be in Atlanta for the foreseeable future.

His first signature shoe, the Trae Young 1 from Adidas is set for release on Oct 1 after he debuted them early during that series against the Knicks. And we got a look at the colorway for the So So Def collab he teased on Instagram the other day as well. He originally debuted them wearing the bright orange “Peachtree” colorway.

Young has been just as active in the gym if not more so as he and the Hawks look to prove that last season was no fluke.

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They have the pieces to go even further and a leader that isn’t going to shy away from the moment. That is typically a winning combination.