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Hawks’ Trae Young got advice from Russell Westbrook on how to deal with rebuilding struggles

Trae Young, Hawks, Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook was recently the voice of reason for Atlanta Hawks youngster Trae Young amid a losing skid, telling Young about his previous experience from his days on a rebuilding team.

The Houston Rockets star was once a rookie for an Oklahoma City Thunder team that had lost 13 consecutive games and won only once in 22 games, memories that have shaped how he is as a competitor. Young took the words to heart:

“Look at Russ now,” said Young, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. “He’s been to the Finals. He’s now in Houston and winning a lot of games. There are positives at the end of the day. If you don’t go through something like this, it’s usually not a good thing.”

Young has been frustrated with the Hawks’ season thus far, with a 6-21 record going well below what he has been able to show this campaign. Losers of four in a row and 15 of their last 17 games, the Hawks might be a work in progress, but also a work of patience for a cornerstone player like Young, who needs to keep some perspective as to what he has to endure to be in Westbrook’s place someday.

To be fair, Young has the right mindset:

“Everyone wants to win now. I want to win now,” said Young. “I want to win a lot more games than we have. I’ve never been a part of a rebuilding process until I got here, obviously.

“It’s something new, but I think the hardest part is trying to stay positive. I have to learn how to stay positive. Me being a leader, I have to stay positive for not only myself but everyone around me, too.”

Young is putting up a career-high 27.8 points per game, good for the fifth-best mark in the league, but the Hawks will need to be resilient in this rebuilding effort before they can undergo a transformation and take the East by surprise.