The Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks have developed an interesting rivalry. Especially when one considers that the Knicks had won seven straight regular-season meetings before a 117-111 tilt in the final meeting this past year. That win came at Madison Square Garden, though, and gives added context to what Hawks star Trae Young recently said.
Young infamously ended the Knicks’ surprising playoff berth in 2021, knocking them out in the first round in just five games.
What’s more, Young took a bow after shushing the crowd in what was a contentious series.
Then-Knicks center Nerlens Noel would bump into Young as the two teams were heading toward their respective benches. Noel was met with an equal response from former Hawks forward Solomon Hill but the rivalry was on.
Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young would play with Knicks’ Julius Randle over R.J. Barrett
It’s important to remember that basketball “hate” is nothing like actual hate. The former can be good for sports. It’s also important to remember that it was mostly interactions between Young and the MSG crowd. Interestingly, Young named another player that has ruffled some feathers of the faithful when asked which Knicks player he would most like to play with.
“I’ll probably go with Julius…He’s a Texas kid. I’m a Texas kid, too. So, I’ll probably go with Julius.”
Young was asked specifically to choose between Randle and his teammate R.J. Barrett.
While it’s nothing but fun banter – Young made a point to remove the Knicks in favor of the Hawks on the Christmas Day slate noting Moss’ fandom – but it is an interesting concept given how things devolved between Randle and, not just fans, but also coaches in New York.
There is also the matter of John Collins remaining on the trade block even as he has teamed up with Young and Dejounte Murray in pro-am action this summer.
It would be an interesting swap for sure if it ever came to fruition.
But that was not the focus of the conversation nor of Young. He and Moss discussed several topics including his what his preference is between winning an NBA championship or an Olympic gold medal.
“I don’t know. Winning a Finals MVP means we won a championship and bringing Atlanta a championship is something I would love to do. I would probably pick that over a gold medal.”
Young, who was appearing on behalf of Body Armor, also took sides in the now settled Paolo Banchero-Dejounte Murray beef.
This is a big season for Young and the Hawks as they look to make their moves pay off after their previous inactivity did not. Despite any other rumors, the players seem locked in and ready to go with camp drawing closer.