Ah, Atlanta. You guys are first in absolutely nothing except the alphabet, so I guess that’s something. If it wasn’t for the atrocities committed by the Chicago Bulls, you would easily be the worst NBA franchise of the 2000s. I mean, c’mon, you guys went 13-69 in the 2004-05 season, and it really hasn’t gotten any better for you guys in the long run. Most of the time you have no one to blame but yourselves. I mean at times it seems like you don’t even want to win. Draft night in 2006, the Hawks had a treasure trove of opportunity and promise with the fifth overall pick. The Hawks instead passed up 2006 rookie of the year Brandon Roy, long time NBA player Rudy Gay, elite three-point shooter J.J. Redick, future Hall of Famer Rajon Rondo, NBA Champion Kyle Lowry and perennial All-Star Paul Millsap, instead opting to pick Shelden Williams out of Duke University. Absolute Gamechanger. And you guys didn’t even learn your lesson. Again in 2010, after scraping past a frail Milwaukee Bucks team and getting blown out by the Magic, the Hawks organization thought about how they should improve the team through free agency. I know! Let’s give a below-average Joe Johnson a 6-year, $119 million contracts! How did that go exactly? Just as well as you thought it would go. His agent went on to tell the media that Joe was going to convince LeBron James to play for the salary-capped Hawks, which he flat-out refused to do. As for Johnson himself, he spent those two short seasons having his production take a massive dip and taking multiple shots at Atlanta’s devoted fan base (all 7 of them) before being thrown to New Jersey. But it gets even better, since just last year, your management teased your entire fanbase by drafting the eventual MVP Luka Doncic only to trade him out for a low-budget version of Stephen Curry with the body of a 21-year-old but the face of a 40-year-old and the voice of a prepubescent tween? This also isn’t the only time that the organization has made some seriously questionable trades, the most egregious being when you traded a 1994 draft pick and the face of the Hawks franchise, Dominique Wilkins, for Danny Manning. I don’t even know who Danny Manning is! But hey, at least you guys got your money’s worth for Bill Russell; Cliff Hagan will be in the hall of fame any day now, I’m sure of it, even if he was serving in the military when he joined the team.
Even your players are in on the franchise sabotage. John Collins just casually decided that it would be a spectacular idea to take some growth hormones.. The league has been going for a month, and yet it seems as though Parsons, Turner, and Allen Crabbe just made their season debuts. Everyone’s still waiting for Crabbe’s defensive, rebounding, and assisting debuts too. However, sometimes the other players can’t catch a break either. Is it really that hard to move some players around? Chandler Parsons is being handed a cool 25 million to warm the bench for Vince Carter whose torn-to-shreds knees are creakier than my grandpa’s. Here’s the real kicker: Vince Carter is older than Trae Young’s dad and is still wasting away on the bench. Evan Turner is being paid 18 million to be the 10th man of the year. Hey, a trophy is a trophy. But whenever you do move some players around, you guys get it so, so wrong. You guys had 4 All-Stars in 2015 and a legitimate shot at the title until Matthew Dellavedova decided to use Kyle Korver’s knee as a pillow, snapping it in half along with your hopes and dreams. After this fiasco, you managed to lose ALL of your All-Stars in a matter of only 4 seasons, dropping from 1st in the East down to 15th. Also, Dwight Howard. Case closed. However, I do see some of the appeal in missing the playoffs over and over. After all, you have a less chance of getting injured if you never play past the regular season! Don’t get me wrong, Vince Carter is undeniably a legend, but it’s time for him to leave the bench and spend some time with his great-grandkids.
Here are some final words about this less than mediocre team. We are long removed from the days of 1957 and Bob Petit, and I don’t see things getting much better. Trae Young might guide the Hawks to the playoffs, but don’t expect a ring anytime soon. Young talent is a possibility, but there’s still a long way to go, especially with injuries. In my opinion, Dwyane Wade only gave Kevin Huerter his jersey out of pity. I imagine Kevin will either use it as a sling for his sprained shoulder or as a tissue after going 3 for 14 from behind the arc. And finally, the icing on the cake. According to your own fans, your 18th best player ever is Jeff Teague. JEFF. TEAGUE. Atlanta, please just stick to football. Oh. Right. 28-3. See you guys at the soccer game. Maybe that’s where everyone is when they’re avoiding this city-wide embarrassment.