Let’s be real. The only reason why Trae Young’s been labeled as the New York Knicks’ enemy is because the Atlanta Hawks were the ones to send New York home in the first round of the playoffs in 2021.
It was the first time that the Knicks had made it to the postseason in eight years and because Young was the one to cut their dreams short, he’s likely going to be linked to New York for the rest of his career. That’s just how it goes.
Yes, Knicks fans don’t like Young, but he’s not on their radar as the most disliked player in the league. That might be Elfrid Payton. But in all seriousness, there’s beef between the two sides, although the media likes to exaggerate it.
Young was a guest on The Old Man and the Three podcast, which is co-hosted by JJ Redick and Tommy Alter. Of course, Redick had to ask the guard about the fans in New York and surprisingly enough, Young’s response wasn’t half bad.
Trae Young discusses Knicks fans on The Old Man and the Three podcast.
Yes, Young sort of threw shade at the Knicks when he said that 2021 was New York’s first time back to the playoffs in “I don’t know how long.” But to be fair, it had been a long time.
He then went on to discuss the playoff atmosphere at Madison Square Garden, which was electric. Young said:
“It was loud. Like, it was crazy. Like, I’ve never been — I mean, I give them a lot of credit. It was the craziest environment I’ve played in.”
After Young said that, Alter asked him if he believes that Knicks fans shouldn’t heckle him, to which he replied:
“Yeah, I think the Heat didn’t say nothing at all. In Miami, like, I think they just kept it business. I think there’s certain guys that you shouldn’t talk to. Just leave it alone. And I feel like I’m one of those guys in that category.”
He might play better when he’s getting heckled, but there’s no way that he (or other players in particular) are ever going to step foot in MSG and not get heckled. It’s New York, after all.
Sure, Knicks fans might be extra partial to the “f*** Trae Young” chant like Redick pointed out, and it makes sense to label him as the villain, but the true villain is James Dolan.
But if fans were to even speak his name under their breath at MSG, they’d be escorted out immediately. So, in the meantime, Young’s name is a good substitute.