The Hawks coach acknowledged that part of his job includes keeping the team together and noted that situations will occur over the course of the season. He also denied the report that he told Young to not attend Friday’s game.
When asked whether the team has a policy regarding player participation at shootaround and starting a game, McMillan acknowledged it does, but he did not elaborate on what it is.
He also said Young understands the perception his absence from Friday’s game left on his teammates.
“Well, Trae is a very competitive kid,” McMillan said. “He understands. He understands. We both want the same thing and that is to win games. And, again, things happen, they’re gonna, things are gonna happen. We’re not going to agree on everything. I mean, that happens in your family, too, right? There’s not the perfect situation. And he’s going to be fine. He’s a 24-year-old man that has a lot of talent. He wants to win big. I want to win big. And we’re going to continue to work on ways to try to make that happen.”
Here is McMillan’s full statement:
“Okay, look, I want to make a statement, first. I know you guys are waiting to hear from me. But I want to make a statement about an article that came out (over the) last 24 hours, and I addressed the team about that this morning. (I) talked with Trae about this article this morning, and I want to address you guys with that. Part of coaching is keeping your team together, keeping a group, a family together. And you’re gonna have all kinds of situations. Okay, all kinds of situations that come up daily. Okay, I have a staff of probably about 30, 35 people, if you include the players, to trainers, to coaches, all of those folks.
“Okay, so there is something happening every single day that we have to address and manage and a situation happened, that is private. Okay, it’s private. It’s no different than any other day for me, in our group and a story was leaked about that situation. You know, those are things that we don’t normally talk about or address. You know, things happen with our players on a bus, on the plane in the hotels. I mean, we’re together a lot. We’re family.
“Okay, things are going to happen during the course of a season, but I’ve addressed my team about that. I’ve talked with Trae about that. We’re moving forward. The one thing that I do want to respond (to), there was something said about me, telling Trae to not show up for a game. I will never ever, and have never ever told a player not to show up for a game. Okay, that’s just false. All right. So I wanted to make a comment on that. As I told the players, we’re moving forward, we need to get ready for OKC tonight. And that’s what we’re doing.”