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Mayor de Blasio Calls Out Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young: 'Stop Hunting For Fouls'

(CBSNewYork)- Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young stole the thunder of the Knicks first home playoff game since 2013 on Sunday when he hit a floater with 0.9 seconds to give Atlanta a 107-105 win. The third-year guard had 32 points and 10 assists and enjoyed playing the part of villain shushing the crowd at Madison Square Garden after the shot. Young's performance got the attention of all Knicks fans, including New York City mayor Bill de Blasio who called out the point guard during his Tuesday press conference for "hunting fouls."

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After laying out a new vaccine drive that allows New Yorkers to get vaccinated at Madison Square Garden for an opportunity to win Knicks tickets, the mayor took a moment to give a quick message to the Hawks guard.

"This is about basketball, I have an important official announcement, this is very important I want to get this out. Message to Trae Young, on behalf of the people of New York City and anyone that cares about playing basketball the right way," de Blasio said with a smile. "Stop hunting for fouls Trae. I want to quote Steve Nash, great player, great coach, he says 'that's not basketball'. Trae, Trae, that hawk's not going to fly in New York City. C'mon. Play the game the right way, see if you can win. I think the Knicks are going to teach you a lesson."

The "hunting fouls" critique is one that has been leveled at Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden through the years as well referring to the act of leaning into defenders in order to force a whistle from the officials. Young had nine free throw attempts in Game 1 and several of those came from plays in which Young was able to get his defender in the air and lean into them.

Young averaged a little under nine free throw attempts per game this season, so his nine on Sunday wasn't out of the norm for him. But, it's clear he enjoyed playing the part of the villain for Knicks fans in Game 1 and now it appears he may have some bulletin board material ahead of Game 2 on Wednesday night.

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