Since Trae Young’s arrival in Atlanta, the franchise has fired two head coaches which has led many to label him as a ‘coach killer’.
Both Lloyd Pierce and Nate McMillan were fired largely due to their disagreements with the young star and he has spoken out about it on his podcast this week.
“I take a lot from my coaches. As much as people want to say what they want, it is what it is,” Young said on From The Point.
He also speculated as to why NBA fans throw certain labels at him and cast him in a negative light.
“It could be because of that one Knicks series, so people look at me as a villain and someone that they can just throw hate on and throw certain labels at you,” Young said.
The two-time All-Star went on to explain his relationship with Pierce and what went wrong.
“For me, I haven’t had very many coaches…,” Young said. “Coming into the league, I had a coach, Lloyd [Pierce]. Me and Lloyd had such a good relationship, but there was a lot of rocky roads. I think the reason me and Lloyd really couldn’t see eye-to-eye on certain things is because he wants to win just as bad as I did, but the team we had wasn’t built to win at that time.
“I feel like he was brought in to be a development coach and I was trying to win… And those two things just don’t work well with each other…
“I was playing hard, but I just feel like we didn’t see eye-to-eye, and I just feel like he didn’t believe in me as much as much as the organization did at times, and we kind of just bumped heads. And to be honest, I have so much love for him…”
At the risk of painting Young in a negative light, many insiders believe he has very much contributed to the Hawks’ troubles the last few seasons.
“Young is not solely to blame for what has happened to the Hawks the last two seasons,” The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz said in February. “But he does play a significant role in their fortunes. His clashes with McMillan were no secret. As long as Young is on the team, the Hawks will go as far as he takes them. His positions on the roster and the spreadsheet scream that. He has a contract worth over $200 million and he just missed the All-Star Game for the second time in three years…”
It’s not just fans and NBA writers that throw shade on Young, but his peers as well, since they voted him the most overrated player in the league in April. (According to to an anonymous poll of 54 NBA players conducted by The Athletic).
It seems Young only uses the hate as motivation though because shortly after the overrated label was thrown out, he won games against two title favorites and shot a wild game-winner.