Bazemore backs Trae Young after criticism from NYC mayor

Trae Young and Kent Bazemore

Warriors wing Kent Bazemore backed a former teammate against criticism from ... the mayor of New York City?

Mayor Bill de Blasio, wearing a New York Knicks hat, on Tuesday morning blasted Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young ahead of Game 2 of the Knicks-Hawks first-round NBA playoffs series.

"Message to Trae Young on behalf of the people of New York City, and anyone who actually cares about playing basketball the right way: Stop hunting for fouls, Trae," de Blasio said Tuesday in a virtual press conference. " ... Trae: That hawk's not gonna fly in New York City, c'mon! Play the game the right way, see if you can win. I think the Knicks are gonna teach you a lesson."

After the mayor of the United States' largest city channeled a "Mike and the Mad Dog" caller, Bazemore kept it light and tweeted at Young to "keep going."

Young led the Hawks to a Game 1 win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, hitting a game-winning floater with 0.9 seconds remaining and shushing New York fans in the process. The 22-year-old scored 32 points in his playoff debut, including going 9-of-9 from the free-throw line.

Nine free throws don't exactly evoke "hunting for fouls," considering that total was only one more than Knicks reserve (and former Warrior) Alec Burks. The Hawks also attempted only 12 free throws Sunday, while the Knicks attempted 15.

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Of course, de Blasio doesn't seem to mind players getting to the line if they play in one of New York's five boroughs. He wore a James Harden Brooklyn Nets jersey in a press conference just last week.


Next time, de Blasio should just hang up and listen.

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