WASHINGTON (AP) – Trae Young paused in the middle of his post-game comments, perhaps wondering if he was going too far – or feeling he had already.
“I don’t want to be fined too much, but it’s frustrating,” the Atlanta star said.
It’s unclear how the league will receive Young’s final words. It wasn’t a messy rant, but he certainly had a lot to say about the refereeing after the Hawks lost 122-111 to Washington on Thursday night. Young was one of five players who received a technical foul during the match, and another was awarded for game delay.
“There are a lot of missed calls,” he says. “It’s basketball. It’s just, it feels like they’re learning, and they’re right – I don’t know. It’s frustrating.”
Young went into detail moments later. There is a new crackdown this season on non-basketball movements designed to make contact. Officials aren’t supposed to call defensive fouls when this happens, and Young and James Harden are often mentioned as players who could be significantly affected.
Young averaged 8.7 free throw attempts per game last season. He is averaging 4.4 this season after taking just three on Thursday.
“I saw James say it was about him, but it wasn’t just for one or two players,” Young said.
Young mentioned Damian Lillard and Devin Booker, a few other star scorers who had relatively slow starts.
“You can watch basketball. Damien Lillard has never averaged 17 points since his rookie year, ”said Young. “There are a few guys. I mean, Book is 18 on average. There are a lot of things that when guys are driving straight and guys are off balance it’s always a fault whether they’re using their lower body or their hands.
Young said he wasn’t completely against the changes, but still wanted some contacts to be hissed.
“Turn around and jump in guys – it’s different,” he said. “There are some things that, I agree with the rule changes, but there are some things that are always mistakes, and the guys are going to get hurt. Especially a little guy like me who is up against bigger and stronger defenders, they use their bodies and they use their legs and hands to stop me.