“Bron on some s*** I swear,” Young tweeted on May 12. “He just Hoopin!”
James’ Lakers knocked out the defending champion Golden State Warriors in six games to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since they won it all in 2020. It would be James’ 11th appearance in the NBA Finals if the Lakers advance – he is 10-1 in his career in the postseason’s penultimate round and has not lost since 2009 with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
If that weren’t enough, to Young’s point James finished the closeout game with 30 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and one block. He averaged 24.7 points, 8.8 boards, 5.5 assists, and 1.2 blocks in the series – his 16th foray into postseason basketball.
Young has a home in Los Angeles and is represented by James’ agent and childhood friend, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, with whom he attended the game. Naturally, Young’s presence at the game led to wild speculation from (mostly Laker) fans that Young was plotting his exit from Atlanta, a rumor that had gained external traction long before the postseason.
The Hawks wrapped a tumultuous season that included a coaching change with another swift exit from the playoffs, bowing out in six games versus the Boston Celtics.
But Young has spoken glowingly about the future under new head coach Quin Snyder.
And Young’s father, Rayford Young, delivered a heartfelt message on just how strongly his son feels about the city during an appearance on ‘Dukes and Bell’ on 92.9 The Game on May 10
“Quin’s great,” the elder Young said. “I mean his resume speaks for itself the way he coaches the way he resonates with his players you know on the court and off the court I think it’s just going to be tremendous for my son. But I can see a lot of that happening under Quin. I don’t want to you know speak too soon. But just knowing him, and the way he coaches, and the way he likes to get up and down and shoot a lot of threes, I can definitely see Trae doing a lot of that here in the future playing for the Hawks.”
Bogdan Bogdanovic sends shoutout to Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic
James and the Lakers will take on two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and the conference’s top-seeded Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. Jokic led the Nuggets to a 4-2 series win over Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and the Phoenix Suns to advance.
He also earned a shoutout from his fellow Serbian, Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Jokic put up 32 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds, and three steals in the contest and averaged 34.5 points, 13.2 boards, 10.3 assists, 1.0 blocks, and 1.0 steals during the series. For what it is worth, James is 15-8 versus Jokic in his career including a 4-1 record in the postseason.
Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals is on Tuesday, May 16.