Atlanta Hawks face tension after dispute between Trae Young and coach Nate McMillan


The Atlanta Hawks’ previous game against the Denver Nuggets ended in a 117-109 victory as they improved to a 13-10 record. However, one key member of Atlanta’s lineup was missing during the game.

Let’s dive into the latest details of the tension rising in the Hawks’ locker room stemming from the game against Denver.

Details behind Trae Young’s missed game against the Denver Nuggets
Nov 30, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) looks on during a break in play against the Orlando Magic in the fourth quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a victory against Denver, the Hawks walked away from that game with bigger concerns as their star player and head coach had a dispute that led to him not attending the event.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Trae Young and head coach Nate McMillan had an exchange during Friday’s shootaround that led to the point guard not attending the game that night.

The Athletic said Young was receiving treatment on his right shoulder and McMillan asked if he was going to participate during the shootaround. Citing his desire to focus on treatment, Young was planning to miss it.

This did not it well with the head coach who told his star player that he either needed to play off the bench or not show up to the arena that night. Young decided he would not show up for the game.

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It seems pretty surprising to see how that transpired but there was no discipline toward Young or McMillan after the situation, according to Charania. However, this is not the first time conflicts have needed to be settled.

The Athletic reported that Atlanta has held multiple team meetings throughout the seasons to resolve various situations that have taken place. There certainly appears to be issues going on within the locker room.

Plus, Young’s leadership approach is also being questioned by many people within the organization. This was reiterated alter as key personnel in the organization want the point guard to be a more productive and positive face of the franchise.

This is a delicate situation the Hawks need to handle if they want Young to remain with the organization long-term. However, McMillan’s place as head coach might be even more debatable.

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Evaluating head coach Nate McMillan’s future with the Atlanta Hawks
Nov 21, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Atlanta Hawks head coach Nate McMillan reacts during a timeout in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a first-round exit against the Miami Heat last season, the Hawks needed to jump back and improve if McMillan wanted to keep his name off the hot seat moving forward.

However, with the latest reports coming out of Atlanta, it would be understandable if his clock might be ticking a little bit faster than previously anticipated. The Athletic also had a report on his place as Atlanta’s head coach.

According to Charania, many executes across the league who are aware of the latest situation in Atlanta are wondering what this means for the future of McMillan. As of now, his job appears to be safe after a 13-10 record to start the year.

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It is clear that Atlanta needs to solve its issues moving forward. If not, there is not a realistic opportunity for the team to truly compete during the 2022-’23 season. It will take some healing on both sides for Young and McMillan.

The head coach led Atlanta to an Eastern Conference finals in 2021 so there is previous success. It simply will all come down to whether the issues within the team can be sorted out in a proper manner.

The Hawks have a talented rotation but the chemistry issues will always make it null. Atlanta has some work to do as it hopes the situation does not continue on this current trend into the future.

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