It wasn’t pretty for the Atlanta Hawks (18-27), watching Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic go for a franchise (and opponent’s State Farm Arena) record 73 points in a 148-143 victory on January 26. But it got downright ugly for the Hawks on social media.
“Luka Unreal,” Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, during the game. “They traded Luka right?”
Sick burn. And Green wasn’t done, urging Doncic to go for his jersey number: 77 points.
The Hawks did indeed trade Doncic for Young, sending the No. 3 overall pick to Dallas for the No. 5 pick (Young) in 2018 and a first-rounder the following year, which the Hawks turned into the since-traded Cam Reddish.
His head coach, Jason Kidd, said after the game that the former Rookie of the Year “is the gameplan”
Doncic – who had 10 rebounds and seven assists in the contest – has been an All-Star and All-NBA selection in each of the last four seasons and is well on his way again this year.
Young is a one-time All-NBA selection and two-time All-Star, though he has failed to make it to All-Star weekend in each of the last two seasons – despite leading the NBA in total assists in each of the last two years as well as notching the total points lead in 2021-22 – and in three of the last four years overall.
He noted after the game that the Hawks tried some of everything to slow Doncic.
Hawks' Trae Young doesn't 'stress' over comparisons to Mavericks' Luka Doncic
Green had Young on his podcast, “The Draymond Green Show,” where the Hawks star talked about those comparisons that have followed him throughout out his career.
“I don't even stress over it no more,” Young told Green in July 2023. “I know the real ones get it for real. You know what I'm saying? I feel like for me, once I win a championship, it'll even open up more eyes to what I've really done.
“Especially to some of my peers that I'm comparing with and compared to. So to be honest with you, I have no hate towards nobody, especially Luka. Me and him talk. We talk all the time. We got a lot of love for each other, a lot of respect for each other. But I do agree with you: it's different agendas and the way people look at certain people is different.”
It was Green who brought the subject up to his fellow Klutch Sports Group client, noting that he felt American players were judged more harshly than European players, a la Young and Doncic.
“I don't get caught up into it,” Young said.
“I feel like eventually, people are going to understand what it is and might realize that it's not that far off. Obviously, he's a really good player. Hell of a player. But it's like, we kind of do the same thing.
“He's 6[-foot-]8, I'm 6[-foot-]2, 6[-foot-]3. We just, we're different in size. But he can play like I can play. … We can both hoop. So at the same time that's just what it is.”