Atlanta Hawks (23-29) star Trae Young tied Hall of Famer Magic Johnson for the No. 3 spot all-time, recording at least five assists for the 154th straight game in the win over the Philadelphia 76ers on February 9, per Hawks PR.
After the game, Young reflected on just how significant of an achievement that is.
“That's crazy,” Young told reporters. “When I grew up watching basketball, playing basketball, I never really thought about things like that. But to be here now, be in certain games where I have like I did tonight, and then be on lists with guys like … Magic, and it's just crazy. It's just surreal. And it's just more motivation to keep going and not stop so.”
The dynamic point guard also recorded his 77th game with at least 30 points and 10 assists, the fifth-most in NBA history.
Asked about his accomplishments all coming in a Hawks uniform, Young was appreciative. But he also pointed back to the bigger picture: winning. It’s a narrative that has dogged him since he entered the league.
For Young, that bottom line is what matters in the end.
“It means a lot. Not a lot of people have been able to do that: be with one team for even six years," Young said. So to be able to be doing what I've done in one place so far, it's meant a lot to me, and I just want to continue to do it. But I want the wins to continue to follow and get back to where I've been before – even further.”
Young led the NBA in total assists last season for the second year in a row, also leading in total points in 2021-22. The latter feat put him in the company of another Hall of Famer, Oscar Robertson, who was the last to do so.
Robertson did it in the 60s.
Young – who finished with 37 points and 12 assists versus Philadelphia – is averaging 27.3 points and 10.9 assists this season. He is also the league leader in total assists once again.
Yet it took multiple injuries for the two-time All-Star to earn a third in the eyes of the league’s coaches. He also finished second in the fan voting, which counts for 50% of the final tally, only to miss out thanks to the player and media votes.
Young has spoken about wanting to win more than anything before.
Trae Young's future with Hawks the elephant in the room
He’s also said that he wants to do it in Atlanta, a concept that has been challenged by several of his NBA peers on the retired-turned-media side. The Hawks have been bounced in the first round of the playoffs in back-to-back seasons after their run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2020-21.
Young's future is the elephant in the room after a report emerged in the immediate aftermath of the trade deadline about rival teams coming away from trade talks at the deadline with the sense that Young could be available.
“There are several front offices that listened to Atlanta’s pre-deadline chatter and came away from conversations with the Hawks of the belief Trae Young could become available for trade this summer — depending on Atlanta’s outcome for the remainder of this campaign,” Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer wrote on Febrary 8.
He went on to say that could very well be “wishful thinking”.
That doesn’t mean the front office should ignore the comments. That is especially true in light of rumors that he wanted to win amid their ongoing trade talks around other players at the deadline.