Trae Young Stuns Knicks Fans In Game 1 With 32-Point Performance
The first postseason game in Madison Square Garden in eight years did not go the way Knicks fans hoped.
The Atlanta Hawks took the first game of the first-round matchup against the New York Knicks, scraping out a 107-105 victory bolstered by the performance of star guard Trae Young. In his first ever appearance in the NBA playoffs, Young put the Hawks on his back, putting up 32 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. Young became the fourth player in NBA history with 30 points and 10 assists in his playoff debut, joining Derrick Rose, Chris Paul and LeBron James in that elite category.
Young also hit the game-winning floater with 0.9 seconds left in the game, following it by turning to the crowd to shush them. Despite what the Knicks faithful felt about the fourth quarter, Young’s performance, particularly in the clutch late in the game, is impressive for someone in their first ever playoff game in one of the most prominent venues in the sport.
However, some fans did take exception to the manner in which he played the game, including New York City Mayor Bil de Blasio (D). In a press conference on Tuesday, de Blasio called out Young. “Message to Trae Young, on behalf of the people of New York City and anyone who cares about actually playing basketball the right way: Stop hunting for fouls, Trae,” de Blasio said. “I want to quote Steve Nash, one of the great players, great coaches. He says, ‘That’s not basketball.’”
It is unusual for political figures to openly be involved in sports, much less call out a specific player on a team for on-court actions. This came after de Blasio received criticism last week for wearing a Brooklyn Nets jersey and hat to his press conference.
The Hawks and Knicks will meet again at the Garden for Game 2 on Wednesday at 7:30 pm EST, where Young will have another opportunity to play the the villain in front of the New York fans.