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Willy Mo

January Hawks Thread.

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I've been a Hawks fan for a whole lot of years so sadly I keep expecting it to all fall apart, but they just keep getting it done. So much fun. I can't wait to see them live at Phillips against Memphis Wednesday.

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Just so people know the hawks are having trouble with younger teams since the beginning of the season that's why we had trouble with Orlando and Bucks and funny enough every SO-CALLED POWER OPPONENTS we're undefeated so far at least ever since the soft-schedule crap from early december.

Over Teams that everyone takes seriously this year we are now 7-0 since the soft-schedule.

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Wins like these have to give the city of Atlanta some hope that this year might be the year man the fans(and us) need to get on this train before it's too late.

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I mean we lost one against Utah last night too. But Teague can close so it's no biggie.

We didn't lose. We're on a 4 game winning streak.

Also, every win this team is getting (especially against quality opposition) has to be driving up the value of this franchise, which means the current ownership is about to get a huge payday,.

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We didn't lose. We're on a 4 game winning streak.

Also, every win this team is getting (especially against quality opposition) has to be driving up the value of this franchise, which means the current ownership is about to get a huge payday,.

Lost.a.lead.

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I can't believe the Hawks won last night. I was thinking they were going to lose especially on the road against a playoff caliber team. WOW! What the heck has gotten into the Hawks? I don't get to see a lot of Hawks games because I live out of state. What have they been doing differently?

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Hawks are playing impressive basketball. Hope they keep it up. My pops is a huge Hawks Braves Falcons UGA fan. Maybe the Hawks won't break his heart like the rest of those teams

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I can't believe the Hawks won last night. I was thinking they were going to lose especially on the road against a playoff caliber team. WOW! What the heck has gotten into the Hawks? I don't get to see a lot of Hawks games because I live out of state. What have they been doing differently?

Simply put we are San Antonio Spurs east and you know what I'm not mad at all about that one bit. I will say they need to get off that high horse later and just simply say this is the Atlanta Hawks we do have ties to Spurs system, but we're not in Texas.

I know most people will look at that comment and say why I that simple it's another way media doesn't want to give us respect.

Danny Ferry has been here 3 years running now, and Mike Bud has been here 2 the further we go you got to stop calling it Spurs system and just call it Basketball(The way it's meant to be played).

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Respect is earned not given. Win a championship and Atlanta will get respect

Pretty much but we damm sure getting close. This team is ballin right now!

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Right now I'm telling everyone just get on the train I'd love for the hawks to go to ECF and this year more than ever if they maintain the top seed THEY CAN GO!

This is the first time since the 90's that Hawks have done this type of stuff.

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Our last division championship was the 93-94 season

We're on our way as we have the division lead.........................wait division as in best record in ECF or Southeast Division?

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We're on our way as we have the division lead.........................wait division as in best record in ECF or Southeast Division?

The last time we won the division was when we were in the central division. We have not won the southeast division. Last time we were on Ecf was 1961 when we were the St. Louis Hawks

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So the Atlanta Hawks are now Leaders of the ECF and our lead could become bigger as of tonight because Toronto is losing as we speak to Phoenix Suns.

It's a great time to be an Atlanta Hawks fan!

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A bit of a long read

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/05/sports/basketball/despite-tumult-around-them-the-atlanta-hawks-have-risen-to-the-top.html?_r=0

Despite Tumult Around Them, the Atlanta Hawks Have Risen to the Top

By MIKE TIERNEY

JAN. 4, 2015

HAWKS-articleLarge.jpg
Paul Millsap of the Hawks shooting over Tristan Thompson in a win over the Cavaliers on Tuesday. Atlanta has a 25-8 record, the best in the Eastern Conference. Credit Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

ATLANTA — If there are surefire formulas for chasing an N.B.A. title, here is not one of them: Infuriate your players and alienate much of an already diminished fan base with the disclosure of racially charged comments by the controlling owner and the general manager soon before training camp opens; hang a for-sale sign on the franchise; operate without the exiled general manager; and entrust a roster with just one All-Star (Al Horford, third team in 2010-11) to a coach in his second season overseeing a team, not counting youth leagues in Denmark.

Somehow, though, the Atlanta Hawks have moved beyond these issues to forge the best record in the Eastern Conference (25-8) and, compared with last season, generate a substantial spike in attendance (up 15 percent) and local TV ratings (up 40 percent).

Several players warrant all-star consideration on a team that has won 18 of its last 20 games. Mike Budenholzer may be the league’s coach of the year so far. And the work Danny Ferry did to shape the team would make him worthy for the G.M. award, if only he were on the job.

Instead, Ferry was placed on leave, as the team described his status, an early step on its extended apology tour orchestrated by Steve Koonin, the Hawks’ chief executive since April. The next phase is accepting bids from prospective owners this week, meaning that the controlling owner, Bruce Levenson, and many of his partners stand to make a tidy profit as they exit.

Alluding to Atlanta’s rise from the ashes after being burned to the ground during the Civil War, as symbolized by a phoenix above flames on the city seal, Koonin said, “Maybe we’ll be the latest” to do so.

Between opening tips and game-ending buzzers, the recovery could not be proceeding more smoothly. The players, most of whom were on the team last year, have bought in to the Budenholzer-Ferry doctrine that accentuates ball movement and unselfish play.

Elton Brand, a backup center-forward who has played for five teams in his 16 seasons, said the Hawks shunned the isolation sets designed to create one-on-one situations.

“Every team I’ve been on before has run iso plays,” Brand said, adding, “We have freedom.”

The Hawks’ passing is statistically unsurpassed: 67 percent of their baskets have been assisted. Only one team had taken fewer uncontested shots through Saturday.

Dallas Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle has called the Hawks the league’s most underrated team. The Cavaliers’ LeBron James lauded them as the Eastern version of the San Antonio Spurs, with their unselfish approach.

But Koonin, an Atlanta native who has been an executive with Coca-Cola and Turner Entertainment Networks, suggests that a lofty perch in the standings is no cure-all for lingering ill will in the community from an insensitive email written by Levenson in 2012 and sent to Ferry and Levenson’s ownership group.

In the email, Levenson speculated that the team’s black fans “scared away the whites” and that there were “not enough affluent black fans to build a significant season-ticket base.” He also said the Kiss Cam on TV broadcasts was “too black.”

The email was discovered after a team investigation into an audiotape in which Ferry was heard disparaging the African heritage of Luol Deng, a player who was a free agent. Soon after the details went public in September, Levenson said he would sell his portion of the team.

“Nothing prepares you for what we went through,” Koonin said, adding that his goal now was for the team to create a “personal connection” with fans.

“I wish winning was the only thing,” he said. “That’s just not Atlanta.”

Koonin trumpets Atlanta as a bastion of diversity that once lifted tourism by dubbing itself “the city too busy to hate.” He wants the team’s aspirations, from the bosses on down, to mirror the city’s.

Last month, he created a position unique to professional sports, chief diversity and inclusion officer. He gave the job to Nzinga Shaw, who previously worked in human resources with the N.F.L. and the YES Network and as a public relations executive.

“I was disheartened to learn that people in such positions of power would use such harmful and negative language,” said Shaw, who responded to the job posting after seeing it on the N.B.A.’s website.

She has pledged to rebuild trust with the community by advancing training for employees and forming a diversity council to develop strategies, including having players serve as mentors to youth. As a start, Koonin has envisioned the club financing construction of playground courts or providing security for existing ones.

Still, the announcement of the intent to sell the team and the departure of Ferry did not placate all civic leaders, primarily African-Americans, and the burden to make amends has fallen largely on Koonin. Besides hiring Shaw, he approved a statue to honor the popular Hawks Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins (“easiest decision I’ve had to make”), lowered ticket prices for some cheaper seats and solicited advice from prominent residents.

One of them, Tommy W. Dortch Jr., chairman emeritus of the volunteer movement 100 Black Men of America, has been critical of the Hawks and the league for not moving more quickly on overhauling ownership.

Noting that Donald Sterling was forced to divest his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers within weeks of the revelation of racist remarks he made, Dortch said: “It’s been months, and I think it’s appalling that they have dragged their feet. If you compare it to the Clippers, the Atlanta situation was worse. It was more ingrained.”

Dortch said Commissioner Adam Silver should have expedited the sale.

“The team is having a winning streak, but the organization is in limbo,” Dortch said.

Koonin attributes the drawn-out process to a complicated ownership structure. Levenson and two associates control just over 50 percent. A consortium of Atlantans holds a 32 percent stake, while a faction based in New York maintains the rest.

“It’s a very complex and very big transaction,” he said.

The entire franchise is on the market, according to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, though at least some current local owners wish to stay involved. Among the interested parties is a group that includes the former N.B.A. player Chris Webber, who has a home in Atlanta. The mayor’s office, which has helped line up suitors, wants the Hawks’ new owners to be local, unlike Levenson, who lives in Washington.

To Koonin, an owner’s mailing address is less important than his understanding of the fabric of the city that bills itself as a mecca of opportunity for blacks and other minorities.

The racially tinged strife seems to have unified the Hawks, as it did the Clippers.

“As a team, we cared together and decided the situation was wrong and moved on,” Atlanta forward Paul Millsap said. “In a sense, it brought us closer.”

Budenholzer, from a slightly different angle, theorized that the team’s existing fellowship enabled it to get beyond the hurtful statements by Levenson and Ferry.

Ferry’s fate will be determined once new ownership is in place. As much as the team’s thriving is a reflection of his uncanny judgment regarding players and coaches, the new owners may want to rid the franchise of any reminders of troubled times.

“No way Ferry can come back,” Dortch said. “If he comes back, it will rekindle the hate spread by him and Bruce. Danny needs to move on. He can’t be forgiven for what he said.”

On the court, the Hawks are displaying a brand of basketball that is drawing waves of admirers, though they and Budenholzer, a longtime Spurs assistant who has absorbed some of Ferry’s duties, downplay any suggestion that they are San Antonio East, preferring to carve their own identity.

Since arriving from St. Louis in 1968, the Hawks have yet to reach the conference finals. That possibility, which seemed far-fetched a few months ago, has become so real that Koonin believes the team can become a magnet for free agents.

“They all stay here,” he said, referring to the numerous players with primary or secondary homes in Atlanta. “Now we have to get them to stay here and play here.”

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