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Knicks Exact Revenge on Hawks as Rivalry Grows

Dennis Schneidler / USA TODAY Sports

Rare Rivalries in the NBA

There are rarely rivalries between two teams in the NBA due to teams constantly changing due to free agency, the annual NBA Draft, and retirement. However, recently there have been two rivalries in basketball that have been interesting. The New York Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks could be considered an emerging rivalry in the NBA.

Who Is Winning the Rivalry?

In their head-to-head matchups, the Atlanta Hawks are winning the rivalry with 199 wins to the Knicks 187 wins. The Hawks won the most recent time in last year’s postseason.

How Did This Rivalry Start?

The Knicks and Hawks rivalry started in the first round of the playoffs in 2021. The Knicks had home-court advantage in that series, possessing a higher seed with the Hawks having to visit Madison Square Garden to advance. The Knicks lost this series in five games despite their passionate fanbase and home-court atmosphere, leading to the villain origin story of Hawks two-time All-Star point guard Trae Young.

Why Do Knicks Fans Hate Young?

As talented as Young is, the former Sooner tends to be cocky and arrogant. Young embraces being the most hated player on the court which has developed into a personality trait. After hitting a game winning shot in Game 1 of the playoffs against the Knicks, Young silenced the Knicks crowd with his finger over his mouth on top of other incendiary celebrations.

How Do Knicks Fans Respond?

The Knicks and Hawks matched up on Christmas Day, hosted in MSG. The Knicks won this game rather convincingly by a score of 101-87. The more notable moment from the game was Knicks fans chanting “F–k Trae Young”. The chant even spread to New York Yankees games in the Bronx. Knicks fans even poked fun at Young’s hairline and mentioned that he was balding.

Trae Young’s Sneakers

On December 7th, the Knicks and Hawks met each other once again in New York. Young wore custom sneakers that dawned Knicks colors with the phrase “King of Broadway” written on the back. The Knicks won this game by a score of 113-89. After their victory, the Knicks official Twitter account responded with a tweet of a picture of the shoes, stating “Hey Trae, leave the shoes here.”

Young Struggled in the Loss

In that 113-89 loss, Young did not play well. The Lubbock product shot 9-20 from the field and a surprising 0-4 from the three-point line. Young is currently shooting the worst percentage from outside in his career, a measly 28.9%.

What Will Happen Next?

Nobody knows what will happen next in this rivalry. Many NBA fans however will be excited to see what happens. The next time these two teams face off is January 20th in Atlanta.

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