REPORT: Hawks missing a ‘true vocal leader’ as team continues to struggle
The Atlanta Hawks have not lived up to expectations this season.
Preseason forecasts had the Hawks as a playoff outsider in the Eastern Conference after they went a respectable 10-14 following the All-Star break last season. Trae Young was developing into a legitimate star at the point guard spot, and youngsters like John Collins and Kevin Huerter were expected to take the next step alongside rookies such as DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish.
Instead, the Hawks have stumbled to 6-22, the worst record in the East. According to Yahoo! Sports NBA Insider Chris Haynes, there is plenty of unrest in Atlanta’s locker room.
Frustration in the locker room has been building for some time as teammates have complained to each other about selfishness, not putting in the necessary work to turn things around and players not being held accountable, sources told Yahoo Sports.
A true vocal leader who commands the respect of his peers is missing from the roster, sources said.
Young has attempted to be a vocal leader. He took the blame for Atlanta’s early-season struggles at the end of November, and he has routinely assumed responsibility for lapses and poor performances.
Still, Young has apparently not done enough to inspire his fellow Hawks teammates. Collins is still suspended, and Reddish has been nowhere close to the talent that Atlanta hoped he might be when they selected him with the No. 10 overall pick this past summer.
Of course, losing makes everything worse. But second-year coach Lloyd Pierce will have to find a true leader in his locker room if the Hawks hope to draw any kind of positives from this season.