Trae embracing villain role: 'I take that as a compliment'
The Atlanta Hawks guard spoiled the long-awaited return of playoff basketball to Madison Square Garden, scoring a game-winning floater with 0.9 seconds left to give his team a 107-105 Game 1 win.
Young added more fuel to the fire by shushing the home crowd of 15,000.
"I definitely know the history of players coming in here and being hated," Young said postgame, according to ESPN's Andrew Lopez. "Like I said, I take that as a compliment, to be honest with you. Obviously, I'm doing something right if you hate me that much.
"I embrace it and try to focus on my team and trying to help my team win. At the end of the day, we'll get the last laugh if we do that."
Young finished with a game-high 32 points and 10 assists while adding seven rebounds in 35 minutes of play. He joined LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to register at least 30 points, 10 dimes, and five boards in their postseason debut, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
However, the Oklahoma product knows the job is far from finished.
"I'm truly blessed to be in this position," Young said. "But I know the work's not done yet. It's just one game. Enjoy this win tonight for it being my first win, first game in the playoffs. But we gotta get back at it tomorrow."