The Hawks superstar takes Boardroom behind the scenes of the new Adidas Trae 2 sneaker, setting the stage for a new season with a revamped squad.
The second edition of Trae Young‘s Adidas signature shoe has been revealed ahead of its Nov. 1 release date. Simply known as the Trae 2, Adidas says it embodies the Atlanta Hawks point guard’s out-of-this-world game and elite basketball IQ, embracing unapologetic creativity and the spirit of making oneself impossible to ignore.
The kicks feature an adaptive fit upper that wraps around the foot, a laceless forefoot that won’t restrict movement, and cushioning for quick responsiveness that doesn’t compromise comfort, according to an Adidas release. In August, Boardroom chatted with the All-Star guard in Los Angeles about the new model and how he’s used his abilities to reach new heights.
“You see it’s a little different,” Young told Boardroom about his new signature shoe. “The knit on the top, the bottom with the Lightstrike. You’ve got the see-through; you can see the color knit of whatever the shoe is going to be. It switches on the shoe. It’s really cool. There’s a lot of cool details.”
The 24-year-old wanted to prioritize designing a Three Stripes sneaker one could wear on and off the court.
“I think these shoes look cool enough to do both,” Young said. “Any hooper out there should want these, but any regular person that’s doing anything can wear these around and feel comfortable.”
Growing up in Texas and Oklahoma, Young was often the smallest player on the court, especially playing against older competition. Doubted at every turn, Trae has had to find unique ways to help his teams win.
“I’m not very athletic, but I use my speed to get wherever I want,” he said. “That’s very unconventional. I can see things differently.”
Even if you’re a casual NBA fan, you know that Young embraces the villain role more than any current player. But entering his fifth year, he’s also building his skills as a leader, and not just through his play.
“I’ve always been a great leader by example. But vocally, growing up I wasn’t always the loudest guy in the room, just because I was always the smallest and youngest guy,” Young said. “So having to find my voice in the league is something that my vets have always wanted me to do. Being the young guy, I was kind of quiet sometimes, but now being a couple years in and being able to find my voice in the league and for my teammates has been good for me.”
Young says he’s unafraid of a challenge, whether that’s a defender or a crowd cursing him whenever he touches the ball. “Ice Trae” has become a go-to nickname, owing to his propensity for not letting himself get too high or too low in any particular moment, cooly sinking big shots and quieting (or perhaps enraging) opposing fans. Then, once he’s off the court and chilling with friends and family, he can relax and be a regular person.
It’s difficult to get under Young’s skin, and he prides himself on remaining even-keel and keeping his priorities straight. He even had praise for the Knicks fans who serenade him with boos every trip to Madison Square Garden.
“I think they’re great and they’re in sync with what they’re trying to do,” he said. “That’s the good thing about it. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. New York fans, like, you should cheer for your team. I love it. It’s a good thing for sports.”
Entering the 2022-23 season, Young has his most talented team yet with the Hawks. Atlanta swung an offseason trade for San Antonio Spurs All-Star guard Dejounte Murray, adding him to a group that already includes John Collins, DeAndre Hunter, Clint Capela, and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Young said he didn’t know what to expect himself when he first came to Atlanta, but he wanted to win right away. He nearly did that by reaching the Eastern Conference Finals two seasons ago. Now, he’s helped build a strong basketball culture and said he loves living in the city — and Murray is the latest piece of that puzzle.
“With the guys we have and the speed we play at, it’s a fun brand of basketball that we play with,” Young said. “Delivering that first championship to Atlanta would be special.”
Asked what legacy he wants to leave, Young said he just wants to be known for being different. When he was at Oklahoma, he led the nation in total points and assists before declaring for the NBA Draft. The question he was asked the most leading up to that draft was if he could also do that in the league. Last season, Young loudly answered that question, becoming just the second player in NBA history to lead the NBA in both categories, joining Hall of Famer Nate “Tiny” Archibald, who accomplished the feat in the 1972-73 season.
“There’s just so many things I want to accomplish,” Young said. “I want to win championships. I want to be known as a winner and as someone who was different.”
With his signature Trae 2 shoe hitting shelves on Nov. 1 the Hawks looking strong entering the new campaign, Young is proving he’s different in all the right ways.
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