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Knicks fans, not Trae Young were the true villains, claims Hawks teammate

Trae Young Knicks Hawks Kevin Huerter

While Giannis Antetokounmpo was seen as the hero of these NBA playoffs, Trae Young was widely considered to be the villain. The Atlanta Hawks guard gave off an air of cockiness and bravado that just rubbed some people, especially New York Knicks fans, the wrong way. The fact that he could back up his big talk on the court just made it that much more infuriating for his many, many detractors.

But while Trae Young relished taking up the mantle of villain throughout the postseason, his Hawks teammate Kevin Huerter claims that it was merely thrust upon him by passionate fans of the New York Knicks. Huerter was vocal about this on a recent appearance on The Old Man and the Three podcast hosted by JJ Redick and Tommy Alter:

“People love to talk about it. The bowing, the shimmying, I feel like it’s a fun way to play the game,” said the Hawks guard. “But here’s what I’ve been explaining to people the last month or so… If you get into MSG, playing the Knicks in the playoffs and in the third possession of the game the whole entire crowd is chanting ‘F– You’ Trae.”

“One, if you were in the same situation, you would do the same thing back. But two, I feel like he didn’t create the hate in that series. Right away, New York was on him. New York singled him out and was like ‘We’re going to try and get in this guy’s head’.”

So was Trae truly the villain here or was the Hawks guard actually just retaliating against what was hurled at him? More than likely, it’s a little bit of both. But safe to say Trae Young’s never going to get any peace and quiet inside Madison Square Garden anytime soon.