Knicks fans might’ve found the secret to silencing Trae Young.
The Hawks point guard — who has become the Garden’s newest villain after his late floater led to a Game 1 win over the Knicks on Sunday — is terrified of birds. That could be just enough leverage for all 15,000 Knicks fans to show up to Game 2 on Wednesday night with an arsenal of bird jokes.
Young, in a 2017 interview with CBS Sports, explained his fear of birds, a condition known as ornithophobia.
“We were in New Zealand and would go to the beaches and all that stuff,” Young told the outlet while discussing an apparent college trip with his Oklahoma team. He went on to discuss past experiences with birds, all of which contributed to his phobia.
“You know how birds would be friendly to people? I hate birds,” Young said. “All you see is the ocean, the sand and birds flying over you. The birds trying to eat the crabs in the sand and they’re all next to you. I’ve seen a bird attack one of my friends at my high school in the parking lot. Yeah. It scared her. The bird was by her car, she tried to turn and get in her car but the bird was so scared it just attacked her.”
In 2018, rival Oklahoma State fans tried to psych Young out by holding up photos of birds in a game against the Sooners. How effective was it? Well, Young did score 48 points, though it took 39 shot attempts to get there. And Oklahoma State prevailed with an 83-81 overtime victory.
Some Knicks fans are already campaigning on Twitter for team owner James Dolan to allow live birds in the Garden.
As soon as he entered MSG on Sunday, Young was greeted with “f–k Trae Young” chants that only became louder as Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs wound down between the Knicks and Hawks.
With 0.9 seconds left, Young sunk a floater to break a 105-105 tie and put the Hawks up by two. That’s when he began trolling Knicks fans and mouthed, “It’s quiet as f–k in here.”
Young made similar comments after the Hawks 107-105 win while walking back to the visiting locker room at the Garden.
In a post-game Zoom call, he added, “At the end of the day, fans can only talk. They can’t guard me. They’re not out there playing.”
Game 2 tips off Wednesday night at 7:30 PM ET.
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