NBA

McMillan labels Trae absence as a 'miscommunication' amid feud reports

By Sports Desk December 04, 2022

Atlanta Hawks head coach Nate McMillan has clarified Trae Young's absence from Friday's 117-109 win over the Denver Nuggets as down to a "miscommunication" amid reports of a feud.

The Hawks had claimed that the All-Star's absence for the game was due to right shoulder soreness, but The Athletic's Shams Charania has since reported that the coach and player had engaged in a heated exchange at Friday's shootaround.

It is reported that McMillan and Young disagreed on whether the 24-year-old point guard would participate in shootaround or receive treatment. McMillan subsequently handed him an ultimatum to play off the bench or not show up at all, with Young opting for the latter.

The Hawks coach labelled the issue as a "miscommunication" when asked on Sunday, as Young trained normally, putting him in line to play on Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Atlanta, who lost in the first round of the NBA playoffs last season, hold a 13-10 record and sit fourth in the East, but there have been reports of simmering tensions.

McMillan took over as Hawks coach in March 2021 on an interim basis from Lloyd Pierce. He went on to guide them to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals, earning the job permanently in July 2021.

Two-time All-Star Young is averaging 27.8 points on 41.1 per cent field goal shooting with 9.6 assists this season.

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