“If you don’t think I’ve been disrespected, you’re just not telling the truth,” he said on media day.
Young went on to say that he knows winning a championship will change outside opinions and used the word “when” as opposed to “if”. This was a sentiment he also expressed during the “Gil’s Arena” podcast.
Young has a strong argument after leading the NBA in total assists for the second consecutive season, just one season after also leading in total points scored, a feat not seen in 60 years in the NBA. He still finished ninth in total points this season but was left out of All-Star weekend for the second time in the last three seasons.
The last time the Hawks went on to fight their way to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Young earned All-Star honors the following season in which he went on to pull off the aforementioned double feat.
But he has also noted before that he wants to win a championship in Atlanta despite the outpouring of speculation that he could be among the next group of stars to seek a trade if things do not go well.
“This was more of an early summer musing with a lot of confusion regarding the Hawks organization,” wrote Shams Charania of The Athletic on September 29. “I doubt they have to seriously worry about this for another couple years, if ever. But teams will be on the lookout for signs of discontent.”
Much of the speculation was sparked by misrepresented comments by ownership.
But Young made appearances at a couple of playoff games, including one of the Los Angeles Lakers’ matchups – L.A. was said to have discussed exploring a trade for the two-time All-Star.
Young said he believes that last season was a “great test” for them as a team and one of those benefits was bringing in Quin Snyder as head coach whom Young has previously considered a potential “game-changer” for them.
On media day, he again said that he was “excited” about the new season under Snyder.
Young also pointed to former Jazz guard Mike Conley – now of the Minnesota Timberwolves – as someone he disliked facing when asked about the offense under Snyder.
Trae Young gets ‘Solomon Hill vibes’ from veteran teammate
One of the few veteran offseason additions the Hawks made was bringing in Wesley Matthews whom Young said gave him “Solomon Hill vibes.”
Hill was a veritable enforcer for the Hawks during his stay.
Young says he and Hill still communicate often.
This is something the Hawks needed last season. Even with tough players, there was a lack of toughness and mindset that players such as Hill and Matthews – and even Patty Mills – bring on a nightly basis.
We will see if the Hawks have done enough to escape last year’s consistent stay around .500, which is where they finished the regular season. Then comes advancing beyond the first round of the playoffs which they have not done since that run to the Eastern Conference Finals setting up for a pressure-filled 2023-24 campaign.