Trae Young continued his run as a villain in Wednesday night's Hawks vs. Knicks game and capped his performance with a bow.
Young scored 36 points and dished out nine assists to lead Atlanta to a 103-89 victory. The game was close for a majority of the evening, but Young helped to close out New York by making some late buckets and helping the Hawks outscore the Knicks 22-15 in what turned out to be a decisive third quarter.
And as the Hawks eliminated the Knicks from the NBA playoffs, Young spent most of the night taunting the Madison Square Garden crowd.
As Atlanta pulled away late in the game, Young shushed the crowd in the Garden after he made a big shot.
Trae had to let MSG know after this bucket 🤫 pic.twitter.com/7mO8bIrB2Y— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 3, 2021
That was the second time in the series he pulled such a move. The first came after hitting a game-winning floater with less than a second on the clock in Game 1.
Young also asked the crowd if they were going to spit on him for his strong effort.
Young was, of course, referencing a Knicks fan who spit on him during Game 2 of the series. That was one of the recent incidents of fan misbehavior that drew attention from the NBA, and the fan was banned from Madison Square Garden as a result of his actions.
In his final act, Young took a bow in front of the crowd after hitting a long-range 3-point shot with under a minute on the clock.
Trae took a bow after this dagger at MSG 🔥 pic.twitter.com/rZyFJ3hvTj— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 3, 2021
When asked about why he pulled that move, Young had a simple response.
"I know where we are. I know it's a bunch of shows around this city," Young said, per ESPN. "And I know what they do when the show is over."
Indeed, the show is over for the fourth-seeded Knicks, as the Hawks knocked them out 4-1 in the series. It was an impressive campaign that saw the team surprise and go 41-31 in the Eastern Conference, but they didn't have enough offense to match the output of the Hawks.
On the bright side for New York, it appears it has a new rival. When Young next returns to MSG, he will surely be pelted with boos by the Knicks faithful.
And it's safe to say that Young is looking forward to being a thorn in New York's side for the foreseeable future.
"Trae loves this stuff," his teammate John Collins said. "He's in the gym grinding. You see him pandering and playing to the crowd. Certain guys get motivated and find their reason and extra motivation to play based off the crowd. The crowd does give you energy.
"Trae loves to use that negative energy and use it as fuel for him. For whatever fans who want to keep antagonizing that man, please go right ahead. It's not gonna bother him, and we got his back, as well."