Young told Yahoo Sports in a story published Thursday that he goes so far as to keep negative tweets on his phone as motivation. Whether it’s shots at his 6-foot-2 stature or the 2018 draft-day trade that brought him to Atlanta, it’s all fuel for the 21-year-old.
“I remember coming into high school, coming into college, they were saying, ‘He’s too small.’ Coming into the league, ‘He’s too small. He has bust potential.’ The whole trade with Luka Doncic. I don’t know that there’s just one [slight],” Young told Yahoo Sports. “And whenever they stop talking just about me, they start talking about the organization and talking about how they made the worst decision and how it could be the worst trade in NBA history. That all motivates me, for sure.”
He did take one step toward fixing the size question, gaining 11 pounds of muscle during the offseason.
Young said he believes he has a chance to be an All-Star this season — but only if he can lead the Hawks to something better than their 29-53 record of 2018-19.
“I think if we win as many games as I feel like we can and at least be in playoff contention, I think I have a good chance,” Young said. “The more we win, the better my odds are of getting into the All-Star Game, and that’s my main focus: winning.
“I know my numbers will be there. I’m not worried about my numbers. I feel like the way we play, the fast pace we play, my numbers will be there. For me, it’s all about winning. If we’re winning, I have a really good chance of being in that All-Star Game.”
He will want to work on some of his individual numbers, though. Young had nine turnovers while scoring 18 points with seven rebounds and five assists during a preseason loss to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.