Knicks' Derrick Rose on Criticism of Trae Young: 'The League Got so Soft'

Adam WellsMay 26, 2021

Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young during the second half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the New York Knicks, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in New York. The Hawks defeated the Knicks 107-105. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool)
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose had no problem with Trae Young's celebration after hitting the game-winning shot in Sunday's 107-105 win for the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs. 

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Rose suggested "the league got so soft" after there was blowback to Young's display of showmanship in front of the Madison Square Garden crowd.

Ian Begley @IanBegley

Derrick Rose on Trae Young/MSG crowd in Game 1: “That’s basketball...the league got so soft, bro. That’s basketball. He come in, he played a great game & the crowd’s supposed to do that. His reaction’s supposed to be that way...that’s what I’m used to.” pic.twitter.com/pExuz8qxo2

The New York crowd showered the halls of Madison Square Garden with "f--k Trae Young" chants before the start of the game. 

Young seemed to embrace his role as a villain to Knicks fans after the game. In addition to his go-ahead shot with 0.5 seconds left to play, the All-Star point guard was seen mouthing "it's quiet in here" and gave the crowd the universal signal to quiet down:

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks


“I must be doing something right,” Young told reporters after the game about the reaction he received from the MSG crowd. 

Knicks fans were especially hyped for Sunday's game. The 15,000 people in attendance marked New York's largest crowd of the season. It was the franchise's first playoff game in eight years. 

Instead of getting to celebrate a win, though, Knicks fans were left with the image of Young walking off the court triumphant. He finished with 32 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. 

Madison Square Garden will get another chance to let Young hear it on Wednesday when the Hawks and Knicks play Game 2 of their series at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT.