Hawks' Trae Young on Nate McMillan Exchange: 'A Private Matter Needs to Stay Private'

Doric SamDecember 5, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 28: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks dribbles the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 28, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Atlanta Hawks star point guard Trae Young raised eyebrows after his surprising absence from Friday's game against the Denver Nuggets, but he was in no mood to discuss the situation on Monday.

After Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that an exchange between Young and head coach Nate McMillan led to him being away from the team during a 117-109 victory, the two-time All-Star is not happy how that information got out. While speaking to reporters on Monday, he declined to explain his side of the story and instead lamented on his annoyance at the matter being made public.

"We're all grown men here, and sometimes we don't always agree," Young said. "It's unfortunate that private situations and private conversations get out to the public, but I guess that's the world we live in now. But I'm just focused on basketball and focused on helping my team win, and that's what I've got to get to refocusing on."

When questioned further about his absence from the game, Young sternly said, "A private matter needs to stay private."

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

"You don't know the full story. ...A private matter needs to stay private"<br><br>Trae Young got into it with this reporter 😳<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/ZachKleinWSB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ZachkleinWSB</a>)<a href="https://t.co/jVA6jlhjPd">pic.twitter.com/jVA6jlhjPd</a>

Charania and Amick reported Sunday that McMillan presented Young with an ultimatum to either come off the bench or not show up to the arena at all after he wanted to miss the pregame shootaround to focus on treatment for his injured right shoulder.

Young, who was planning to make a decision later in the day after treatment, chose not to play and was listed as out with shoulder soreness.

The 24-year-old didn't face any disciplinary action from the team and returned to practice on Sunday. McMillan described the situation as "just a miscommunication." However, the report from Charania and Amick indicated a deeper issue within the franchise, stating there were "multiple team meetings early this season to resolve various conflicts."

Atlanta sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference at 13-10, but it has struggled to maintain consistency through the early part of the season.

With Young returning to the lineup on Monday, the Hawks will be going for their third straight win when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder (10-13).