Hapless, Hopeless Hawks

Let me start with the caveat that I am a basketball fan. Until recently when my wife started her new job, I’d been playing in a bi-weekly (twice a week, not every two weeks) game. I LOVE BASKETBALL. NCAA, NBA, pick-up games, horse, whatever. I love this game © ®

The Atlanta Hawks, however, do not play basketball. Sure, they show up at the arena and lace up their shoes and put on their jerseys and run around for a couple of hours, but they don’t play basketball. At least not very well.

You see, Atlanta Spirit LLC was supposed to change things. The Hawks new motto is “Restart”, but if the results this year are indicative of a restart, maybe we shouldn’t have bothered restarting.

The Hawks are now 0-4 and at the bottom of the Eastern Conference after the season’s first week. I realize we have a new coach, new owners and a new slate of stars (if you can call Antoine Walker a star), but does anyone out there think the Hawks are moving in the right direction? Will they be moving in ANY direction, other than down, in the next couple of years?

Why is Atlanta so basketball deficient of late? Aside from Tech’s run last year, the past 5 years have been horrid for Atlanta hoops fans. What is wrong with this town? Not enough And 1 mixtapes? I honestly don’t know.

What I do know is that the Atlanta Hawks, new ownership or not, have done little to persuade me to spend my hard-earned cash to see a game. And this is coming from someone who gets free vouchers for Hawks games.

Someone, anyone, please change the culture of losing for the Atlanta Hawks. I want to be a fan. I truly do.

6 Comments so far

  1. salas (unregistered) on November 10th, 2004 @ 8:18 pm

    You may be the only one. I remember the apathy towards the Hawks in the city in the mid-to-late ’90s when the Hawks actually had a good team (they even finished with a 1 seed in the East one year) but nobody went. I think it would be hard for ownership to justify spending big money on players when no one’s going to go see the games anyway. They should just contract the Hawks or move them to Vegas.

  2. Mark (unregistered) on November 11th, 2004 @ 8:03 am

    I can’t comment on the Hawks’ haplessness because I gave up on the NBA years and years ago. No team, for my money, really plays basketball well.

    However, Atlanta is smack dab in the geographic center of some of the best college basketball in the country. The ACC will be more competitive than it has been in 20 years and the SEC has made great strides in the national basketball scene lately.

    College basketball, where the word “team” isn’t greek and where defense is actually part of the strategy, is where I donate my viewing hours.

  3. Kendall (unregistered) on November 11th, 2004 @ 8:14 am

    I agree that the Hawks have alot of work to do!

    I disagree with the notion that Atlanta doesn’t want to support a good team. They have never been a number one seed – they won their division but never a top seed. They traded away Dominique for Danny “No Knees” Manning … that was really the beginning of the end …sure Lenny Wilkens had a couple of good seasons and it was truly just a couple!

    Historically, their draft strategy has been mediocre (and that is being NICE), they don’t make the moves for high calibre Free Agents… and as evidenced by this last draft … that doesn’t seem like it is going to change.

    In any case, when the Hawks give me something to look at … I will gladly pay my loot to see them. As a Knicks fan, I can’t bring myself to root for 2 piss poor teams…

  4. Jessica (unregistered) on November 11th, 2004 @ 11:05 am

    It’s not just that they suck (though they do). The Hawks haven’t had any really visible players since Dikembe Mutombo (sic), who, for all his faults as a player, would show up a lot at events and lend his support to Cynthia McKinney and so on. ‘Nique, Spud Webb, and Doc Rivers were also good at getting their names out. Now I’ll be damned if I can name a single Hawk. Admittedly, I don’t follow the sport like I used to, but still.

  5. salas (unregistered) on November 12th, 2004 @ 9:46 am

    Kendall: The Hawks actually did earn the number 1 seed in 1993-1994, their last with Dominique and first with Lenny Wilkens. They tied the Knicks for the best record (Jordan was retired), but the Hawks played the #8 seed Heat in the first round, meaning they got the 1 seed.

    And Atlanta just has a history for not supporting teams except when there’s a compelling story line – how can the Braves not sell out playoff games? Every other team rewards season-ticket holders with first dibs at playoff seats, but the Braves give you two playoff tickets for the price of one. They only really moved tickets in the early ’90s when the winning stuff was new.

    But you’re right about the lottery – I remember when they had a lottery pick and drafted Cal Bowdler.

    Mark: The Pistons don’t play team ball? Please. I can understand if you don’t watch the regular season, but the playoffs are money, especially with the NBA on TNT crew.

  6. Greg (unregistered) on November 12th, 2004 @ 1:19 pm

    It’s the same as the Braves, Atlanta needs desperately are some loyal (and if necessary, brutal) fans…

    I was at the Hawks pre-season game against the Heat and the Philips Arena was between 1/2 and 2/3 full, most probably came to see Shaq. I hope to see more game thanks to the free vouchers we get

    And as for the Braves, I was at 7 games this season at Turner Field, and only the very last game against Houston was sold out, great atmosphere that night despite the result… Makes me wonder if people were just “glory hunting” as it was game 5 of the ALDS, where were they in late June against the Marlins when the rain delay meant we didn’t walk out til 1:30am?

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