The Insane Origin of Trae Young’s Nickname in the NBA “Ice Trae”

Published 09/23/2021, 2:40 PM EDT
Jun 8, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) argues a call with referee Ken Mauer (41) during the first quarter in game two of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


From the stacked 2018 NBA Draft Class, Trae Young is arguably a top-2 player. He has already made a significant name for himself around the league. Mainly for his ball-handling, playmaking, and ability from beyond the arc. Young’s vision is truly a testament to his potential of writing his name amongst the legends in the hall of fame.

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He did not single-handedly carry the Atlanta Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals. However, without him, it would have undoubtedly not been possible.

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His ability from beyond the arc often puts him in the same conversation as the league’s greatest. Like Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard. While he does not have their efficiency, he has the clutch gene in his body. His performances are usually at their peak when it matters the most. Hence, he is has gained the nickname “Ice Trae” around the league. So what was the origin of this nickname and why is he called that?

The origin of “Ice Trae”: The infamous nickname of Trae Young

In December 2017, a few months before the Hawks drafted Young into the league, a record label called “Quality Control” released an album “Control The Streets”. It features a song named Ice Tray by Quavo and Lil Yachty. Quavo is a member of the Atlanta-based trio Migos. He is a loyal supporter of the Atlanta Hawks.

When Trae Young was traded to the Hawks on draft night, Quavo was extremely delighted. He had been following Trae since his college days in Oklahoma. He started referring to Trae as “Ice Trae” ever since, using a reference to his own song.

When Young completed his first year with the Atlanta Hawks, Quavo gifted him a diamond chain to commemorate that. Trae finished his first season with “Rookie of the Year” numbers but lost out on the award to Luka Doncic.

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However, Quavo still gifted the chain to him to show his long-term trust in the player. “To an incredible season, welcome to the A. Young, Rookie of the Year in my books. Straight from me and wifey. Ice Trae,” said Quavo while giving him this gift. The glistening chain features a basketball pendant encrusted with diamonds spelling out his “Ice Trae” nickname.

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So with the Hip-hop icon, Quavo started calling him “Ice Trae”, the NBA community just caught onto it. And ever since, Trae’s performance has also been in sync with that nickname. Consequently, this nickname became common for Young across the NBA community.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

218 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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