At fourth in the East and 13-10 on the season, one could say that the Atlanta Hawks have been pretty solid so far this 2022-23. Nonetheless, there's apparently trouble building up inside the organization as tensions rise between Trae young and head coach Nate McMillan.
Young missed the Hawks' game against the Denver Nuggets on Friday due to what the team called a right shoulder soreness. While it's true the star guard was dealing with the said issue, it is just a small part of a bigger story.
According to the latest reports, Young and McMillan had a heated exchange during Friday's shootaround that led to the sharpshooter opting not to attend and play versus Denver. Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic detailed what happened, noting that McMillan wanted Young to “participate in shootaround, receive treatment during walk-through and play in the game against the Nuggets.”
Young, however, wanted to prioritize his treatment. With that, he asked not to join shootaround and then only decide later on if he can play against the Nuggets. McMillan didn't approve of that, of course, and when the guard missed shootaround, the head coach gave him two options: play off the bench or not play at all. As everyone knows, Ice Trae chose the latter.
McMillan later shared that Young's absence was just a matter of “miscommunication,” though that might be putting it lightly.
It doesn't look like the Hawks plan to punish Trae Young after the reported incident with Nate McMillan. The All-Star is also expected to suit up on Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, it remains to be seen how the latest issue will affect the team's performance moving forward.
Hopes are high that the two can resolve their differences, though. After all, it would be impossible for them to content if the team's top player and head coach are not on the same page.