Hawks’ Young expresses ‘love and respect’ for fired McMillan

Feb 23, 2023, 7:33 PM | Updated: Feb 24, 2023, 9:35 am

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) passes the ball around Charlotte Hornets center Mark Williams a...

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) passes the ball around Charlotte Hornets center Mark Williams as Hornets forward P.J. Washington looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

(AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young says he has “nothing but love and respect” for former Atlanta Hawks coach Nate McMillan and expects to have no input in the hiring of McMillan’s replacement.

Young spoke with reporters on Friday for the first time since McMillan was fired on Tuesday with the Hawks in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Young was not available following Wednesday’s practice and was excused from Thursday’s practice for personal reasons.

Young is preparing for his third full-time coach in five seasons. Asked if he is worried another change impacts the perception of his ability to maintain long relationships with coaches, Young said “People are going to say what they’ve got to say.

“A lot of players have played for a lot of coaches. I don’t look at it like that. I’m not looking at the next coach who comes in here. I’m trying to win a championship, whatever it is, I’m just trying to win.”

Young, a two-time All-Star, is Atlanta’s on-court team leader as the starting point guard while also ranking as the team’s top scorer with 26.7 points per game. He dismissed speculation he had a rocky relationship with McMillan.

“There’s a lot of moments that people really don’t understand that me and him have had and that’s OK,” Young said after Friday morning’s practice. “It will get brought up eventually. I know I don’t tell everybody everything. I kind of let y’all make up rumors about certain things about how I am and how my relationship is with certain people. I just play basketball.”

Young said he has talked with McMillan since the firing and added “It’s not the last time he and I are going to talk.”

Hawks general manager Landry Fields on Wednesday said speculation that McMillan was hampered by conflicts with Young were unfair to Young. Fields said McMillan’s relationship with Young was not a factor in his decision to make a coaching change.

Fields said he already has launched his search for McMillan’s full-time replacement and said former Utah coach Quin Snyder is a candidate.

Young said “I don’t care to have any input” in the coaching search.

“I trust those guys up top,” he said. “Since I’ve been here I’ve always said that. Nothing has changed for me.”

Fields said he believed it was time for a new voice on the Hawks bench and said “there was slippage” as the team lost four of six games before the All-Star break.

Asked if he believes it was time for a new voice, Young said “That’s not up to me.”

“I don’t know. I think that’s part of it. I think sometimes it’s not always going to be easy. Some conversations are not going to go great. That’s just part of it. Not every situation is easy and nice.”

Young participated in Friday’s practice and is expected to start in Friday night’s game against Cleveland as the Hawks (29-30) hope for a late-season surge under interim coach Joe Prunty.


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Hawks’ Young expresses ‘love and respect’ for fired McMillan