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Trouble is brewing in Atlanta as 24-year-old Hawks star and point guard Trae Young is reportedly struggling to get along with the team’s regime, notably coach Nate McMillan.
So much so that Young missed a game Friday night against the Denver Nuggets due to a spat they shared before the game.
The Hawks announced that Young would miss their game on Friday over right shoulder soreness, an injury that has been nagging ‘Ice Trae’ this season. What actually occurred, according to sources with The Athletic‘s Shams Charania and Sam Amick, was a disagreement between the coach and player after McMillan encouraged Young to participate in shootaround.
Young resisted the idea, saying he’d be missing shootaround to focus on his shoulder treatment before the game. He also left his availability for the game in some doubt.
With Young pushing back on McMillan’s request, the coach set an ultimatum for Young to either come off the bench or sit out the game if he refused to participate in shootaround. Young did not compromise and opted to sit out.
Speaking to the Hawks media on Sunday, McMillan said that a “miscommunication” was exchanged between him and Young before he got ruled out of the game.
Though McMillan’s faced criticism this season for the Hawks’ 13-10 start, coming off acquiring Spurs guard Dejounte Murray in the offseason, the coach’s firm standing showcased Young’s issues with being able to lead a team.
For a guy who’s gone 134-167 and received a bevy of help from the organization, Young’s disgruntled attitude toward the team has sent a distasteful message, one indicting his ability to foster a winning culture.
Young is expected to rejoin the team on Monday, facing off against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Over the offseason, McMillan signed a four-year deal to be the Hawks’ full-time coach.