Hawks' Trae Young Opens Up on NBA 3-Point Contest Loss and Pregame Ritual

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2020

Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young practices for basketball's NBA All-Star Game on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)
David Banks/Associated Press

Trae Young's first foray into the Three-Point Contest didn't go as planned Saturday at the United Center in Chicago. He scored just 15 points, finishing in last place in the competition that Buddy Hield ultimately won.

The Atlanta Hawks guard spoke about his shot going awry Saturday night, perhaps hinting that the rigors of his first All-Star appearance were catching up to him.

"The thing about shooting, and shooting that many times, is you've got to have legs. ... It's been a long day, long weekend so far, and that's what it was," Young said, per Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I just didn't have any legs."

"When you go first, you don't necessarily know how it's going to go—you don't know the rhythm, the flow of everything," he added.

Young participated in Friday's Rising Stars Challenge, finishing with 18 points and seven assists in 19 minutes for Team USA. He's also been through a near-constant media ringer associated with the Rising Stars, Three-Point and All-Star events he's participating in this year.

With his first All-Star start on the horizon, Young said he has a plan to get his shot back into rhythm.

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"Always gotta have my chicken strips. Gotta get my ankles taped, right to left," he told Spencer.

After putting up 29.7 points and 9.2 assists per game while knocking down 3.5 threes per outing during the first half of the season, the odds are Young's chicken strip-covered fingers will find their stroke in the national spotlight.