Rod Strickland: “I think Trae Young will have a great career”

Trae Young

Rod Strickland dropped by Scoop B Radio and chatted with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson about Trae Young. Press Play Below To Listen!

Trae Young will most likely go anywhere from numbers 4 to 8 in tomorrow’s NBA Draft at Brooklyn, New York’s Barclays Center.

In 32 games this season, Young, an Oklahoma product posted 27 points, 8 assists and nearly 4 rebounds per game.

Many have compared Young to Golden State Warriors NBA Champion point guard, Steph Curry.

Young, however, is a fan of retired NBA veteran, Rod Strickland. In fact, last month, Young says that Rod Strickland has been influential to his career and give good advice.

Strickland was drafted by the New York Knicks with the 19th pick in the 1988 NBA Draft.

The NBA’s assists leader in 1998, Strickland New York City royalty by way of the Bronx.

During his 17 year career with the Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Portland Blazers, Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors,  Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets, Strickland posted career numbers of 13 points, three rebounds, and seven assists.

To get the highest praise from Young was flattering. “I’m a fan and I’m honored that he said that,” Rod Strickland told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.

Rod Strickland led the NBA in assists in 1998.

Strickland, who shifted into coaching after becoming an assistant coach with John Calipari at both Memphis and Kentucky, says that Young reached out to him for guidance after a bad game and the two have been in-sync ever since. “He had a subpar game,” he said.

“He reached out to me to ask me how he could ever have a game like that.  I basically told him that that’s part of the process. What you experience one game is good because now you know what’s in front of you…I told him it’s going to make him better.”

So then there’s this Steph Curry comparison that many make. Strickland ain’t buying it. “I don’t really believe that,” said Strickland.

“He’s really great at ball strength, he sees the court, so I think he has a bright future. The way the NBA is played now, with the court spread– whether he’s on the ball or off the ball, he can make plays, he can make shots.  The NBA is looking for shot makers. The NBA is threes, drop the ball and kick it to threes, transition threes, and ball screen. That’s mostly the NBA. I think he’s good enough to do that.”

Strickland also says he knows Young will be superior in the long run. He detailed how the Oklahoma Sooner can improve too! “He didn’t shoot a good percentage in college,” said Strickland.

“But he took some bad shots in college, he was forcing shots in college.  But that was the college game. That was their system. But I think if he gets quality shots in the NBA, which he will, I think it becomes different.”

Strickland cited a similar example during his time coaching at Kentucky under John Calipari. “I watched Bradley Beal in college against us in Kentucky,” he said.

“I used to sit on the bench and watch him warm up, and I said: ‘man, this kid’s got the golden stroke.’ And in the game, he was missing.  That season in college, his last year, he didn’t really shoot the ball well, but he had a stroke and I kept saying that. And then he goes to the NBA and he hits everything.  Sometimes college is harder than you think, because teams can focus on you, they can run schemes and all that. I think Trae Young will have a great career.”


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