Trae Young sends heartfelt message to former Hawks teammate

Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young tipped his cap to one of his former teammates who is stepping away from the game for good.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Trae Young has had a lot of teammates in his five-plus seasons with the Atlanta Hawks.

They have all left their impression on him, and he has made a point to mention several by name throughout the years regarding lessons he’s learned or experiences he’s had, such as helping Lou Williams reach his first Conference Finals (2021).

Before Williams, there was Rajon Rondo. The Hawks traded the latter for the former after just 27 appearances.

That was enough to make his mark on the Hawks All-Star, Young.

“Learned so much from Bro, first from a distance & then as a teammate!” Young exclaimed in a post on X on April 2. “Enjoy retirement OG! @RajonRondo.

One of the Greatest.”

Rondo announced his retirement during an appearance on the “All The Smoke” podcast on April 1, saying we had “absolutely” seen the last of him in the NBA.

“I’d rather spend time with my kids,” the 38-year-old now former NBA point guard said. “Making $200 million, I’m telling them certain things, they like, ‘Ah.’ Nah, I’m gonna go with my kids over here.

Rondo averaged 3.9 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.0 rebounds in his Hawks tenure. 

A two-time NBA champion and four-time All-Star, he was 34 years old and past his prime by the time he got to the Hawks in 2021. At his peak, Rondo was one of the game’s best orchestrators, averaging 9.4 assists per game for 11 seasons from 2008-09 through 2018-19.

Injuries marred the end of his illustrious tenure with the Boston Celtics.

That run included the first of his two championships. The other came with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020 alongside LeBron James. James also spoke out about his and Young’s shared former teammate and the impact he’s had on his illustrious career.

LeBron James echoes Trae Young sentiments about former Hawks, Lakers guard Rajon Rondo

One of the best players I ever played with. Obviously, his IQ is out of this world. I was very lucky to get to team up with him at that point here when I was in L.A. Obviously, being in L.A. and him coming to the Lakers, I was ecstatic about that. I knew what we could accomplish together. ‘Do always talked about if he ever teamed up with me, he knew we could win a championship. And we did that,” James told reporters on April 2.

“He got the most out of his career and more. … Just a spectacular player.

Rondo led the NBA in assists per game three times and was one of the most ferocious defenders at the position, earning four All-Defensive Team selections. He also took home the steals crown in 2009-10 and earned All-NBA honors in 2011-12.

He did not sign with a team since hitting free agency following the 2021-22 campaign and steps away after 16 seasons split across nine organizations including the Hawks.