The past couple of decades have been a pretty interesting time to be a fan of the Atlanta Hawks based on the roller coaster ride the franchise has subjected its supporters to over that span.
The team consistently finished near the bottom of the Eastern Conference at the start of the new millennium before turning things around in the late 2000s.
The 2007-08 campaign marked the start of a 10-year stretch where the Hawks were able to successfully punch their ticket to the playoffs (which included a Conference Finals appearance in 2015). However, the team once again hit a major rough patch after falling off a cliff en route to posting a 24-58 record during the 2017-18 season.
However, the 2018 NBA Draft gave Atlanta a glimmer of hope in the form of Trae Young, who was initially drafted by the Mavericks with the third overall pick before Dallas traded him and another selection to the Hawks in exchange for the rights to Luka Doncic.
While plenty of fans in ATL criticized that transaction at the time, it initially looked like it was going to work out in the end after the guard emerged as one of the more exciting young talents in the league and expertly adopted the role of the villain during a heated postseason series against the Knicks in 2021.
Unfortunately, it’s been largely downhill from there.
The Hawks posted a middling 43-39 record last year ahead of a one-and-done playoff showdown against the Heat, and the franchise parted ways with head coach Nate McMillian last month after the team got off to a 29-30 start.
In December, a report surfaced that suggested McMillian and Young were butting heads behind the scenes, and now, some new information that’s come to light would suggest the former coach is far from the only person the guard doesn’t see eye-to-eye with.
CBS Sports spoke with a number of sources who’ve pointed the finger at Young while attempting to explain Atlanta’s current woes:
Starting with the locker room, it’s no secret there’s a serious disconnect between Young, the team’s star player, and many—though some say nearly all —of his teammates.
He is not beloved, sources say, and there’s a strong view that Young fails to lead, to understand or care to understand what is required of him, and that as a result the team will never achieve what it should until that reality is fixed.
The outlet also says the Hawks tapped Quin Snyder to replace McMillian in the hopes he may be able to address the fractured locker room, but there’s also speculation the team could try to trade Young in the offseason if the new skipper feels there’s nothing he can do to adequately address the rumored issues.