Trae Young made his return to New York City on Tuesday night for the first time since the Atlanta Hawks knocked the New York Knicks out of the playoffs in 2021. And, as Ice Trae has done before, he put on yet another electric performance at Madison Square Garden.
The Hawks took down the Knicks 117-111, led by a 45 point-performance by Young to go along with eight assists. He knocked down 13 of his 25 shots and went 7-for-15 from deep, all with a chorus of boos coming from the crowd throughout the night.
Young’s performance was memorable not only in the box score, but with absurd plays such as this fourth-quarter crossover against Taj Gibson.
Young has become something of a New York City “villain” since his playoff series against the Knicks last season, but, as he told SLAMKicks last September in his KICKS 24 cover story, he’s always embraced the negativity.
“You ain’t got no choice but to hear it when a whole arena is chanting ‘F you.’ That’s just fun. Me, I’m a competitive person in whatever I’m doing. Anytime somebody’s talking trash, whether it’s my little brother, my dad, or a random person playing pick-up ball with me, I’m going to be the same way. That’s just my mindset. I’ve had this approach with everything I’ve done up until now. And I ain’t gonna change anytime soon, for sure.”
After the Hawks win on Tuesday night, Young took to Twitter to celebrate.
Following the game, he talked to reporters, including the AP’s Brian Mahoney, about how his and the rest of the team’s mindset gave them an edge to win.
“I think the swag and what we were able to do on the court tonight and the energy we had in the huddle, I knew it was just us versus everybody tonight,” Young said. “And I think if we have that type of mindset each and every game, we’re going to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Last night’s win pushed the Hawks’ record to an even 36-36, 10th best in the Eastern Conference. The loss for the Knicks leaves them at 30-42, 12th in the conference.