Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young gives surprising take on his NBA career

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images) /

Recently, Atlanta Hawks’ star point guard Trae Young stopped by the “Gil’s Arena” podcast, hosted by former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas, to weigh in on a variety of topics pertaining to his career.

One of the questions asked of Young was what letter grade he would give his career thus far, and his answer may surprise some.

“I’d say a B,” Young said. “I feel like I’ve done a lot, [but] I don’t feel like I’ve done as much as I’ve set myself and my standards to.”

As the greatest Hawk of this century and on a career trajectory that would make him the greatest player in franchise history (if he’s not there already), Hawks fans might be inclined to give the former Oklahoma Sooner an A considering his various accomplishments, which include making the Eastern Conference Finals, leading the league in both scoring and assists in the same season, and many others.

Still, it’s nice to see that Young isn’t resting on his laurels and is determined to push forward to the limits of his potential.

The players also discussed the Atlanta Hawks star’s snub from Team USA

Another topic that was discussed on the podcast was Young’s shocking snub from the Team USA roster, a squad he has publicly expressed his desire to play for in years past and is still oddly excluded from in favor of much less accomplished (and frankly, much less talented) players.

While Young himself was understandably careful with his wording about the controversy on the podcast, Arenas took the chance to clap back at some of the ludicrousy and politics that evidently go into the national roster selection.

(Warning: NFSW)

Throughout his career, Young has become one of the most polarizing players in the NBA and has been a frequent target of disrespect from both fellow players and fans alike.

This year, despite averages of 26.2 points and 10.2 assists, Young was astonishingly snubbed from the NBA All-Star game, despite players like DeMar DeRozan, Tyrese Haliburton, and Jrue Holiday, none of whom could objectively be considered anywhere close to Young’s level, making the cut.

Young was also voted the most overrated player in the NBA by his peers in a recent player poll conducted by The Athletic.

So what is it about the pint-sized point guard that rubs people the wrong way?

It’s worth considering that Young does have a somewhat infuriating style of play to try to defend if you’re the opposition. Yes, he foul baits. Yes, he embellishes. But calling an NBA player out for flopping is like calling a dog out for barking: everyone does it.

Young also does have a rather outsized personality and is not afraid to engage in some friendly chit-chat with both the other team and the other team’s fans throughout the course of the game. But again, is this really grounds for consistently leaving him off of accolades and honorary teams that he clearly belongs on?

Whatever the culprit of the disrespect, at a certain point, we have to acknowledge the reality of the situation: Young is quickly becoming one of the most underrated players in the NBA right before our eyes. It sounds weird to say, because yes, everyone knows his name, and yes, he does have a sizable base of fans who will defend his every move.

It seems that for the general public, however, Young’s name has become more synonymous with non-winning, inefficient basketball and the flopping era of the league we are currently experiencing, rather than the offensive wizardry he still possesses, and there’s really no discernable reason why.  It would certainly help if the Hawks were consistently making the kind of deep playoff run they did in 2021

But again, postseason success clearly isn’t the main factor here, or else names like Haliburton, Ja Morant, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander wouldn’t be thrown ahead of Young’s in discussions.

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Whatever the real reason is, the Young disrespect is getting out of hand, and it’s glad that he’s at least getting the support of one NBA legend in Arenas.