Never ever did I ever once think that I would fall for the Atlanta Hawks. Ever. With their disgusting ketchup and mustard jerseys and their lack of players worth mentioning or even watching, I despised this team. Even worse, I forgot this team existed.
Point guards, power forwards, centres, you name it, if they called themselves a Hawk, they were irrelevant. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Glenn Robinson, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Antoine Walker hoisting jumpers throughout the years and nobody cared. Not about them or anything. Whether the shots missed wide, or short, or missed the backboard all together, not many people cared about anything Hawk-related really.
But then something changed.
I’ll spare you the recent history of the trepid franchise and just say that things are looking up. The ball is rolling. The Hawks are soaring. And for the first time in eight years the team that comes first in alphabetical order looks as though they could contend for the playoffs. Wait, what? They’re 3-6? Okay, well whatever, for the first time in eight years the Atlanta Hawks are worth flipping to at half-time of the Raps game.
Sure the empty seats in Philips Arena may still be of concern to the Hawks brass, but not to us. Who owns that team these days anyway? All that means to you and I is that it will be easier for us, should we ever decide to head to Georgia to catch a game in person.
If you don’t subscribe to NBA League Pass, live in Atlanta or have Tyronn Lue on Facebook, then you haven’t got much hope of catching Hawks games as they happen. But with rookies Al Horford and Acie Law improving every game and Hawks money-man Joe Johnson constantly slashing, dashing, driving and smashing his way to the hoop game in and game out, it would be a shame if you didn’t at least try.
Needless to say, Josh Smith still exists, and when that happens, highlights happen. With the body of a power forward and the skill set of an off guard, Smith makes enough blocks to put LEGO out of business, all the while draining triples and coming up with dunks that would make Dominique Wilkins yell ‘oh snap’ and run around like an airplane.
For most fans north of the border, the Toronto Raptors are all that matters. With their fancy fundamentals and European-driven offense, it’s easy to forget about the other side of the spectrum. The ridiculous athleticism that trumps any sort of court awareness (at least in Atlanta), the flash, the afros and the nightly tribute to all that basketball fundamentalists have been losing their lunch over since the release of the very first AND 1 mixtape.
I won’t try to convert you to a Hawks fan, because to be honest, I don’t know how long this will last. In one week the Atlanta Hawks might sign Toni Kukoc out of retirement or release Josh Smith to make room for Moochie Norris, but if they don’t, then be sure to clear your schedule for when the Hawks play the Raps next month.