The Atlanta Hawks continue to do what the Lakers and the Mavericks, to name only two, have failed to do – consistently not suck. The Hawks haven’t been burdened by a superstar and thus haven’t felt the need to build around him and moronically try to chase a title with stupid trades in order to augment him. The Lakers of course made the disastrous Nash trade to try to get Kobe another ring and the Mavericks, being dumber because Kobe had provided 5 rings and Dirk only one, made the Rondo deal which continues to haunt them daily as it should.
The Hawks are led by the best coach in the NBA, Mike Budenholzer. Mike continues to win a lot of games without a superstar and with a constantly changing roster. This past offseason, the Hawks lost Al Horford to the Celtics, traded Jeff Teague to the Pacers, and signed Dwight Howard as a free agent. Howard can’t score much anymore but he can rebound and play decent defense and we know what he brings to the table. He combines with excellent player Paul Millsap to form a formidable frontcourt. Teague’s departure paved the way for Dennis Schroder to take over as point guard. The key to the Hawks’ playoffs fortunes depend on Schroder’s play and, stating the obvious, the health of key players. If Schroder can deal with Thomas, Irving, and other point guards who will try to make his life hell in the playoffs, the Hawks have a chance, albeit not a good one. If not, they have no chance.
We won’t be having Dirk Nowitzki around much longer. He’s old and hurt and his team blows so this may well be his last season. Nowitzki was the truth and the light for at least 5 seasons and in his prime he was at the least the equal of Duncan and Garnett. Like Kevin McHale, he was unguardable and could score at will. To Dirk’s credit, he didn’t force his way out of town and try to chase a ring. Dirk, like Duncan, Garnett, and numerous others, was a ring giver, not a ring taker. He was the cause and the prime mover. He was the opposite of Chuck Nevitt.
Unfortunately for us, TNT has a contract with the NBA to show basketball games on TV. The in studio posse is led by Bow Tie Wearing Chump Ernie Johnson, Jr. Ernie doesn’t do much to make his money but there his clown face is on our TVs and if we want to avoid him we have to make an effort. His partial circle of wannabes includes the loser who wouldn’t commit to being the best and therefore didn’t win a ring, Chucklehead Barkley, somebody we see on too many commercials and who took all kinds of money from teams his last 3-5 seasons just to get hurt a lot and not do much, For Sale Shaq, and stuttering Kenny Smith. Stuttering Kenny has been speaking in front of a camera forever and probably started doing interviews in high school. Yet, though he makes a ton of money to speak, he can’t do so with enough clarity and without stuttering. The least TNT could do is make him use some of the ludicrous money it pays him to get himself speech th th therapy.
Besides assaulting us in the studio, TNT assaults us in games. Marv Albert disgraced himself and the NBA with sexually deviant behavior a few years back yet there he is doing play by play. Kevin McHale had to take a leave of absence from his duties with the Timberwolves a while back because he stupidly broke a rule. Of course he works with Marv and bothers us with his high pitched and effeminate voice. Fans deserve better.
This piece was written by Jim Swigart. Jim has been seriously writing for at least eight years and previously wrote about music for a now defunct online magazine for about two years. Jim briefly blogged about sports for an online site and currently blogs weekly about sports on his own site.
His academic background is in business and math. He has done numerous work tasks besides writing. My interests include exercise, sports, music, and politics.