to the Hawks BasketBlog! This is where you can come to read analysis and
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Note: the opinions expressed here are not those of the Atlanta Hawks
organization or of the NBA.
This is a good time to be a Hawks employee up for induction into a shrine of
some kind. Joining
upcoming Naismith honoree Dominique Wilkins and
National Jewish Sports Hall Of Fame inductee Herb Brown, Hawks TV
Broadcaster and Hawk Talk Online co-host
Rathbun was recently inducted to the Catawba College Sports Hall of
'76 graduate of Catawba, was inducted as part of a four-member class on
Saturday, April 29, in a ceremony at the college. With the new class, the Hall
now includes a total of 137 members.
Congrats to Bob, who recently added more Atlanta Braves games to his plate as
well, as Fox Sports Network begins their takeover of Turner South and all of its
Here is the bio on Rathbun, courtesy of the Catawba release:
Rathbun, is Fox Sports Net's veteran play-by-play voice for its telecasts of the
Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks, and regionally-produced college football and
basketball games (ACC, SEC, Southern Conference, Ohio Valley Conference). One of
his profession's most personable and respected talents, Rathbun has been with
the network since 1996.
Rathbun, a 1976 Catawba graduate, is originally from Salisbury, and graduated
from West Rowan High School. He is remembered by many locally as a teenager
working radio at Rowan County's American Legion baseball games with national
hall of famer Marty Brenneman in the late 1960s.
Prior to joining FSN, Rathbun was the radio play-by-play voice for the Detroit
Tigers (1992-94), the Braves' AAA Richmond team (1996) and the New York Mets AAA
Tidewater (Va.) club (1980-85 and 1990-91). He was also the TV voice of the
Baltimore Orioles in 1988-91.
In 1998, Rathbun was named the Georgia Sportscaster of the Year, following six
like honors while working in the state of Virginia. Also a regular television
voice for Rayom/Jefferson Pilot's ACC basketball coverage, Rathbun has done
play-by-play work for CBS Sports and ESPN in their coverage of the NCAA Men's
Rathbun has also called radio play-by-play for the NBA's Washington
Bullets/Wizards and for Notre Dame football.
Rathbun resides in Dunwoody, Ga., with his wife Marybeth, son Court and daughter
-- The Web Guy | 4:30 p.m. 05/02/06 |
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Last Saturday, Atlanta's Centennial Place Elementary served as the host for the
annual International Children's Day and Hawks center Zaza Pachulia, a native of
Tbilisi, Georgia, was a celebrity guest of WXIA-TV's Monte Richardson, whose
wife is of Turkish descent.
Pachulia was presented with an honorary certificate of appreciation for his
visit by Richardson's son, Omar.
Over 350 people were in attendance and were treated to various exhibits and
stage events featuring a Turkish Children's Choir, Nigerian, Chinese, and
Mexican dance troupes, and other cultural presentations.
The origins of International Children's Day you ask? In 1920, Mustafa Kemal
Ataturk, the founding father of the Turkish Republic, decided that April 23rd,
Turkey's Independence Day, would be Children's Day. He believed that children
are important because they are the future leaders of the country. Ataturk hoped
that by educating children about freedom and independence, the nation could have
"peace at home and peace abroad."
Turkey was the first country that had an official holiday for children, and in
the early 1980s, UNICEF recognized April 23 as the International Children's Day.
-- The Web Guy | 4:00 p.m. 04/24/06 |
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Here are some interviews we taped on Thursday as the guys were clearing out
the locker room.
participating in Basketball Without Borders this summer in China.
first season in Atlanta and being near to his family
NBA for the first time and what he hopes to accomplish in the summer.
improvements the team made in the last year, and what they need to do to
get ready for next season.
Always the optimists here on the Hawks Basketblog, here are some notes,
courtesy of the Hawks PR staff, of some of the trendlines from the Hawks season.
The Hawks doubled their win total over a year ago, winning 26 games, a 13-win improvement
over last season's final win tally ... Only New Orleans (+20) and Utah (+15)
showed bigger improvements.
The team made this improvement despite having the youngest team in the NBA with an average age of 23
- believed to
be the youngest in NBA history.
The Hawks made two major free agent acquisitions in the offseason, getting
Joe Johnson and Zaza Pachulia. Johnson led the Hawks in scoring
(20.2), assists (6.5), steals (1.26), all while setting a new franchise record
for minutes in a season (3,340). Pachulia, signed away from the Milwaukee Bucks,
led the team in offensive rebounds (3.4) and total rebounds (7.9) while
finishing third on the team in scoring (11.7). Both players, it should be noted,
chose to come to Atlanta.
Speaking of Joe Johnson, here are some impressive numbers on his first season in
- ended the season as one of five players in the NBA to average 20+ pts and 6+
assists. The others were Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Gilbert Arenas.
- had four 40+ point games this season; the last Hawks player to do that was
Dominique Wilkins in 1992-93 (he had 8 that season). Johnson was one of eight
players with at least four 40+ point games this season.
- tied for 21st in the NBA in scoring, was 14th in assists, 31st
in steals and 6th in minutes.
- has the NBA's second-longest
current gamed played streak (357) behind Toronto's Morris Peterson (361).
- became the eighth different Hawk to dish out at least 500 assists in a
season (Mookie Blaylock, Walt Hazzard, Eddie Johnson, Pete Maravich, Doc Rivers,
Jason Terry, Lenny Wilkens).
- according to website 82games.com, Johnson has knocked down the second-most
game-winning shots in the NBA over the last two-and-a-half seasons. Johnson is
one of 7 players to have drained eight game-winners during that time. Carmelo
Anthony is the league leader with 11.
And some stats for Zaza, who:
- was 5th in the NBA in offensive rebounding (264) and 20th in
overall rebounding (7.9 rpg.), 2nd among all centers in steals (1.14) and 9th
among all centers in scoring (11.7 ppg). He grabbed an NBA season-high 12
offensive boards, including the winning tip-in, on 3/19 vs. Orlando.
- had a team-high 21 double-doubles.
When Pachulia is compared to some other significant NBA free agent center
signings over the last two off-seasons, which includes Eddy Curry, Tyson
Chandler, Samuel Dalembert, Erick Dampier, he led the group in steals, assists
(1.7 apg), free throw percentage (.735), minutes (31.4) double-doubles (21) and
efficiency rating (14.4), and placed 2nd among the group in scoring (11.7) and
made free throws (297).
Atlanta defeated seven-of-the-eight Eastern Conference playoff teams and we were
victorious against 10 of the 16 teams in the 2006 Playoffs. (Chicago was only
Eastern Conference playoff club we did not beat).
The Hawks were the 2nd-best offensive rebounding team in the NBA, averaging 13.1
per game, led by Zaza Pachulia (264, 5th in the NBA).
The team ranked 11th in the NBA in 3-point shooting, hitting 37% from behind
the arc, and Tyronn Lue (46%) finished 2nd in the league from long range. In
2004-05, Atlanta ranked last in the league at 31%.
Josh Smith showed some significant improvement in his second season in
the league. Witness:
Over the last 12 games, Smith averaged 17.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4.0 apg and 3.5
- Smith made 34 three-pointers in the last 31 games, after hitting zero in
his first 49 contests this season.
- ranked 2nd in the league in total blocked shots (4th in average), and
moved up to 9th on the all-time Atlanta blocks list.
- had 208 blocks this season, and joined Tree Rollins, Dikembe Mutombo and
Theo Ratliff as the only Hawks to ever reject 200 or more in one year.
- got his 300th career blocked shot on March 22nd at Philadelphia, becoming
the youngest player in NBA history (at 20 years, 107 days) to reach that
milestone. He eclipsed Kevin Garnett, who got his 300th at 21 years, 165 days.
Blocks became an official league stat in 1973-74.
- when compared to other 2nd year players after the
All-Star break, Smith ranked 1st in bpg (3.1) and mpg (38.8), 2nd in efficiency
(20.2), and FTM (106), 3rd in rpg (7.8), 4th in apg (4.1), T-4th in
double-doubles (7), 5th in ppg (15.0) and 7th in spg (1.03).
And the other part of the Joshes combo? Josh Childress scored in double figures in 22-of-his-last-29 games, averaging
12.6 ppg on 56.7% FGs during that time ... He finished with the seventh-best
single-season field-goal percentage in team history (55.2%).
Marvin Williams increased his scoring each month this season ... November - 5.5
points, December - 6.2 points, January - 8.5 points, February - 9.3 points,
March - 10.4 points, and April - 12.3 points ... He also saw a gradual rise in his
rebounding, from 4.0 rpg in November to 6.1 rpg in April (2nd among all rookies
Among rookies, Salim Stoudamire was 2nd in FT% (.900), 3rd in 3FG% (38%), 5th in
3FGM (82), 6th in scoring (9.7) and T-14th in assists (1.2) ... He led the Hawks
in FT%, was second in three-pointers made and was third in 3FG%.
Al Harrington provided solid veteran leadership on and off the court all season
and ranked tied for 30th in ppg (career-high 18.6), tied for 31st in rpg (6.9)
and tied for 38th in mpg (36.6).
-- The Web Guy | 5:00 p.m. 04/21/06 |
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The team made its final appearance at Philips Arena today, as the guys had
exit interviews with the coaching staff and went about cleaning out their
lockers for the summer. It felt a little like the last day of camp for me,
except instead of 12-15 nine-year olds it was 12-15 multi-millionaires. But
otherwise very, very similar.
We got a lot of interviews which we will post in the next few days, with
several players talking about their seasons and what they plan to do for the
Last night the season ended in Cleveland, with the Cavs squeaking out a
100-99 victory over the Hawks as Josh Smith missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer
that would have won it for Atlanta. So, the final tally stands at 26-56 - not a
great season by any stretch of the imagination, but it's worth noting the Hawks
improved by more wins (13) than all but two teams - the Utah Jazz won 15 more
games than a year ago (a mark asterisked by the ridiculous amount of
injuries they dealt with in 2004-05), and the Hornets were plus 20.
With a high draft pick and some money to spend under the cap, it's safe to
assume Hawks GM Billy Knight has some leverage to make some improvements in the
offseason to keep the team on an upward curve.
Here are some pics of the guys talking with the media and getting their stuff
together for the last time this season...
Royal Ivey visits with the AJC's Sekou Smith
John Edwards packs up
Josh Childress faces the tough questions
790 the Zone's Brandon Leak interviews Josh Smith
Joe Johnson cleans his locker
-- The Web Guy | 4:45 p.m. 04/20/06 |
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The NBA participates in a wonderful program called Basketball Without Borders, a
program they put on in countries around the world to teach basketball and life
lessons to at risk children. Several Hawks will be participating in the program
this summer. Zaza Pachulia and assistant coach Herb Brown will
take part in the program in Lithuania. Josh Childress is accompanying the
group that goes to China, and scout Harold Ellis will be a part of the
contingent that goes to South Africa. The program, a basketball instructional
camp for young people that also promotes friendship, healthy living and
education with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, features
current and former NBA players and team personnel as camp coaches. Ellis has
involved for the last two years, and says it is one of the most
meaningful experiences he's ever had.
In other news, I meant to link to this last Friday, but ESPN's Page 2 has a
great article by Kevin Cott about
Dominique's Wilkins deserving enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of
Fame. Definitely check that out. If you are like me, you really can't read
enough columns discussing the greatness of 'Nique.
Finally, tonight is the Hawks' season finale, with the team finishing the slate
on the road at Cleveland. I expect the club to come out fighting much like last
night, as adding another win (and finishing the season on a three-game winning
streak) will do nothing but add confidence as the guys head into the offseason.
While winning at Cleveland would seem like a tall task on its face, but just
- The Hawks won their earlier trip to Cleveland this season, winning 100-94 back
- Atlanta has won three straight games on the second half of back-to-backs.
- The Hawks seem to perform better against the good teams than the bad ones -
how else do you explain losing at home to the Bobcats, then winning the next
night on the road at Milwaukee against a team fighting for its' playoff life?
Tune in tonight on i, Independent Television and watch the final game, and then
lets all get to work on helping this team to the playoffs next season!
-- The Web Guy | 1:50 p.m. 04/19/06 |
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The Hawks sure closed out the home slate in typical fashion last night, eh?
All the familiar elements from this season were involved:
- Comeback from a double-digit deficit? Check.
- Nearly blow a sizeable lead in the last few minutes? Check.
- Get a clutch basket with only seconds remaining to win the game? Check.
- Vanquish another top opponent in the NBA? Check.
Ok, so Shaq and D-Wade weren't on the floor last night, but so what? I'd
actually argue the effort Miami gave last night was better than what would have
happened with their best players on the floor, playing not to get hurt and on
cruise control for the playoffs. The guys who got minutes last night (Dorrell
Wright, Jason Kapono) are players still trying to prove something,
and they played with maximum effort last night in nearly beating the Hawks on
their home court. But, their energy was not enough to overcome an Atlanta team
determined to send the 19,843 fans in the stands (fourth-largest in Philips
Arena history) home happy.
And happy they were after watching the Hawks persevere one more time at home,
winning on Tyronn Lue's three-pointer with eight seconds left. Dorrell
Wright got the ball with a chance to tie it at the end for Miami, but his jumper
fell short as time expired.
Here are some great shots from last night's action, as the Hawks said goodbye
to Philips for the 2005-06 season. For the record, the team went 18-23 at home
this season, an obvious improvement from the 9-32 campaign of a year ago, and a
mark that could have easily seen several more W's if not for a few plays.
All photos by Scott Cunningham, who once again did a great job as the Hawks'
team photographer this season.
Before the game, Josh Childress was honored with the inaugural Jason
Collier Memorial Trophy for his work in the community. The award was given
to Childress with Jason's wife, daughter, and their parents on hand to make the
Al Harrington goes for a sweet reverse
Superstar producer/rapper Lil' Jon puts up the "A-town" sign for the
cameras with Hawks owner Todd Foreman
After the game, the Hawks gave the jerseys off their backs to lucky ticket
holders like this young fan
Skyhawk descends from the rafters
Tyronn Lue lets the game-winning shot fly
A fan shows Harry and Lil Harry her moves
Josh Smith prepares to throw it down
19,843 came out to see the game, fourth-largest in Philips Arena history
Reaction after the game-winning hoop
Was it a good game? Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaah!
-- The Web Guy | 12:15 p.m. 04/19/06 |
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Appreciation Night. Tonight it's all about you, the fan. To thank the
fans for supporting them throughout the season, the Hawks will be doing a number
of things tonight, including (and this is the part you will probably care about
the most) giving away a lot of stuff. Here is a sampling:
Shoes and more
In addition, they will
be honoring Josh Childress with the inaugural Jason Collier Memorial
Trophy. The award, named after the late Hawks center who passed away on
October 15, 2005, will be presented annually to the individual who best
exemplifies the characteristics Collier displayed off the court as a community
Zaza Pachulia. A little shout-out to the lesser known perhaps of the two
most important off-season acquisitions for the Hawks last season. ZP has been a
constant in the middle for the Hawks all season long, and if I were him I would
take about a 17-day sauna treatment once the season ends. Come out tonight to
pay homage to the guy who does all the grunt work in the paint for the Hawks.
Here is what he had to say
about his first season in Atlanta.
Al Harrington. Harrington has been a rock over the last two years for the
Hawks, but with his contract expiring after the season there is a chance this
will be your last opportunity to see him donning a Hawks uni. Harrington has
done all he could for the franchise over the last two years, overseeing a huge
youth movement that cast him, a young player himself, in the role of the savvy
veteran. Hopefully he will be back for future Hawks games, but if not, let's
thank him tonight for his efforts
2. Mike Woodson. This guy has been dealt a tough hand in his first two
seasons as an NBA head coach, but he has persevered. Talk to any other coach,
GM, or scout in the league, and they will praise the effort the Hawks give every
single night, even as they have fallen out of the playoff chase. Certainly, part
of the credit for that goes to the players themselves, but Coach Woodson and his
staff deserve a lot of praise for having a team that battles to the very end,
win or lose. We caught up to him this morning after shootaround to
get his thoughts on the end of the
season as well.
1. Double Your Fun. The team set, as a baseline goal for the season,
26 wins as a stepping stone for this year's win total. Clearly they would like
to have more, but they can reach that marker with a win either tonight against
the Heat or tomorrow at Cleveland. I think the team will come out strong
tonight, trying to finish the season on a high note to give themselves
confidence to build off of going into next season.
These guys may not have won as much as we would have liked as fans this
season, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Say what you want about
their record, I defy you to think of even five games at Philips this season that
weren't worth the price of admission. This is an exciting team to watch, period,
and they are only going to get better. Let's show them some love tonight as they
finish the home schedule and add another top-ranked foe to their list of victims
See you there!
-- The Web Guy | 1:50 p.m. 04/18/06 |
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Josh Smith. This is the kind of end-of-the-season run you want to see from
your young players. At a time of year when most non-playoff teams have packed it
in for the year, the Hawks continue to give their all. Smoove is a great example
of a player trying to finish the year strong. Just as an example of his improved
play, look at how his scoring has increased. Smith notched his first 20+ point
game of the season on Feb. 15 against the Lakers. He added four more in March,
in 16 games. In seven games so far in April, he has bested 20 three times. The
team will need his contributions tonight, as Josh Childress has been
suspended two games for his flagrant foul on the Bulls' Andres Nocioni on
Gerald Wallace. The Bobcats, as an expansion franchise, do not receive a ton
of publicity. The first players you think of when you think of their squad are
probably Emeka Okafor and maybe Sean May, but both of them are out for the
season with injuries. While no one was looking though, Wallace has become
arguably their best player and a near All-Star, as we saw when he torched the
Hawks for a career-high 41. Currently, Wallace has a chance of becoming the only
player in NBA history besides Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson to average two
steals and two blocks a game for an entire season. Pretty impressive company,
no? By the way, Josh Smith could totally pull this off someday.
The Atlanta Hawks are celebrating Hispanic culture and heritage tonight by
holding Noche Latina (Latin Night). A number of festivities are planned,
highlighted by a post-game concert featuring Latin recording artists Pilar
Montenegro and Adassa. The concert is free for anyone holding a game
ticket. Viva Hawks!
2. Tar Heels. A year removed from their national title, the four North
Carolina lottery picks have seen decidedly less success on the court than ever
before. Tonight marks the last meeting between teammates Marvin Williams
and Raymond Felton, as both are putting the finishing touches on
promising rookie campaigns. Though Sean May's season was prematurely
finished due to injury, each of the other three ex-Heels (Rashad McCants
being the fourth) had mostly positive beginnings to their careers. Personally
The Web Guy doesn't like North Carolina, (he is an SEC fan at heart), but last
year's UNC title-winners had as much talent as nearly any NCAA titleist in
1. Gotta get a split. Last year the Bobcats won the season series 3-1
from the Hawks, despite being a first-year NBA franchise. Currently, Charlotte
has a 2-1 advantage this year going into tonight's contest. Simply put, Atlanta
does NOT want to lose this series two straight years, especially given some of
the other teams they have beaten this season. The team will miss Childress, but
the Bobcats have overcome multiple injuries all season and still managed to beat
the Hawks twice so far. Look for the Hawks to bring their A game tonight and
pull out the series equalizer.
See you there!
-- The Web Guy | 3:45 p.m. 04/14/06 |
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Hey Hawks fans, Brendan checking in from ticket sales. The Web Guy offered me a
spot on the Blog today to let you know about the deal we have going for the
Hawks-Heat game. If you put down a
$100 deposit per seat for any
plan towards the 2006-07 Hawks season, we give you tickets to the Hawks
taking on Shaq,
Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat for FREE!!
With the emergence of Josh Smith and Joe Johnson combined with another great
draft pick and the cap flexibility to add more great players, now is the time to
get great seats before it is too late.
New in 2006-07, in honor of the Hall of Fame induction of Dominique Wilkins, the
Hawks will be offering a season ticket in the lower level for just $21 per game.
You don't want to miss out on either opportunity - the chance to witness the
continuation of something great in 06-07, as well as a chance to see your Hawks
play against one of the NBA's top teams next Tuesday night.
-- Brendan Donohue, Director Of Ticket Sales | 3:30 p.m. 04/11/06 |
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A Triple-Double. Josh Smith has come ever-so-close to getting his first
career triple-double in the last couple games, while Joe Johnson is a threat to
do it every single night. Call it a hunch, but I say one of these guys gets it
done at least once before the season ends - maybe even tonight!
Gilbert Arenas. Honestly, I don't quite know what to do with Arenas. Clearly
one of the most offensively gifted players in the league, I still can't figure
out if he is a ball-hogging guard who keeps his team from becoming a cohesive
unit or if he is just putting the team on his back and carrying them to the
playoffs. Perhaps he is both. Either way, he is one of the players in the NBA
who I would pay to watch, and there are few who work harder at their jobs. The
Hawks have had surprising success against Arenas this season (if you want to
call it that), holding him to only 21.3 ppg in three meetings, his fourth-worst
average against an opponent.
Family Night. The last one of the season, sadly. For those who have
forgotten, you can get four tickets and four vouchers for Chick-fil-A combo
meals (crazy delicious!) starting at $69. It's not the last time you can go to a
Hawks game this season, and it's not the last time you can eat Chick-fil-A, but
it could be the last time you can enjoy them together for so little money. What
are you waiting for???
2. Tyronn Lue. Finally back from a knee injury that kept him out for
several weeks, Lue has paid immediate dividends to a short-handed Hawks squad.
Lue turned back the clock to last season in Wednesday's game against Minnesota,
scoring two crucial baskets as time wound down to help pull out a 101-99
victory. Last year it was his pull-up J with 17 seconds left that clinched the
home win for Atlanta. Look for him to continue to have an impact on the team for
the rest of the season with his clutch shooting and passing.
1. Not for the feint of heart. It must be tough to be a Hawks fan with
high blood pressure these days. No matter the opponent, it seems like every game
is destined to come down to the very end. This week alone the Hawks have lost by
two at New Jersey (missing a chance to win when Joe Johnson was called for an
offensive foul with three seconds left) and defeated the T-Wolves on a Josh
Childress layup at the buzzer (for my money, a top-three highlight of the
season). What is in story for us tonight? Well, don't be surprised to see a
close one again. These two teams played at Philips back in January, going to
overtime before the Wizards pulled away. Can the Hawks gain some revenge
tonight? If so, count on it coming at the very end!
See you there!
-- The Web Guy | 10:30 a.m. 04/07/06 |
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Finally. That's all I have to say. At this time last year, I would have told
you there was no way Dominique Wilkins doesn't make the Hall of Fame on his
first try. Of course, I was wrong. We all were. But that is in the past. Monday
Wilkins finally got his well-deserved recognition from the basketball
establishment, as he was named
as part of a very impressive six-member class to be inducted in
Springfield, MA, in early September, joining basketball luminaries Charles
Barkley and Joe Dumars, amongst others.
Dominique was The Web Guy's favorite player growing up, and is pretty much
the reason he became not only a Hawks fan but a basketball fan in general. I
grew up during the glory days of Wilkins' tenure as a Hawk, following him, Spud,
Doc, and Tree as they battled against the other heavyweights of the period. Like
many kids in the South, I had posters of him all over my walls (right next to
the Hawks basketball goal that hung on my door). I still remember where I was
the moment I found out he had been traded to the Clippers.
The Hawks honored Wilkins during a timeout at Wednesday night's game against
the Timberwolves, showing a tribute video on the video screen, followed by a
standing ovation from those in the crowd. It was goose-bump inducing. Also, we
had a chance to
speak to Nique
before the game to get his thoughts.
Wilkins' career may
have been overshadowed by some of the others he played against, but I think it's
worth mentioning that he was a part of two of the most memorable moments in NBA
history: his duel with Larry Bird in Game 7 of the 1988 Eastern Conference
semifinals (which I believe ESPN Classic is contractually obligated to air at
least once a day), and his showdown with Michael Jordan in the 1988 Slam Dunk
Contest in Chicago.
Though Wilkins came up on the short end in both, these two events
nevertheless cemented his legacy as both a player and as a showman. Wilkins did
everything he could to will the Hawks to victory in that series, matching Bird
shot for shot in that legendary fourth quarter. And nearly 20 years later, I
would argue more people remember Nique getting shafted in Chicago than Jordan
As an individual, Nique was every bit as talented as any of his peers, but
unfortunately never had the talent surrounding him to help his Hawks defeat the
other teams of his era.
Either way, today is a day to be celebrated. Wilkins is finally getting his
just desserts, and The Web Guy couldn't be happier.
What are some of your favorite Wilkins memories? Email them to me and I will
post the best ones!
-- The Web Guy | 11:15 a.m. 04/06/06 |
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Dominique Wilkins. The Hawks' greatest legend got his props Monday from the
basketball community, as it was announced he will be a part of the 2006 Hall of
Fame class. Come out Wednesday night to honor him for this prestigious honor!
Memories Of Aprils Past. Last season the Timberwolves came to town with
their playoff hopes on life support, and promptly lost to a Hawks team that
would win only 13 games all season. Minnesota is too far out of it for the Hawks
to ruin their season this year, but best believe the T-Wolves remember what
happened last year and will want some revenge tonight.
Marvin Williams. Marvin hopes to be back with the team in time for tonight's
game - he missed Tuesday's game against the Nets to attend his grandfather's
funeral. Our condolences to Marvin and his family. If he makes it back for
tonight, he will be going up for the first time against his former UNC teammate
Rashad McCants, who is a rookie shooting guard for Minnesota.
2. The Hawks Bench. In case you haven't noticed, Atlanta is a little
short-handed these days. Though they have welcomed Tyronn Lue back from his knee
injury, the team has lost Salim Stoudamire for the season, and last night played
without Josh Childress (ankle), Marvin Williams (family leave), and Zaza
Pachulia (flu). Despite these missing bodies, the Hawks still were in the game
right up until the end, and a lot of credit for that goes to the inspired play
of reserves Donta Smith, Anthony Grundy, and Esteban Batista.
All three reached personal bests last night, with Smith scoring 13 points,
Grundy popping for 11 (all in the fourth quarter), and Batista snaring 12
rebounds. Look for them to try to keep that up tonight as they play the second
night of a back-to-back.
1. Heading In Different Directions. Minnesota may have a better record
than the Hawks, but this will be a meeting of two teams trodding down opposite
paths. As many games as we have lost this season, I can't help but still feel
optimism for the future of this franchise and for the players that will make up
the core of the team in the coming years. The Timberwolves, on the other hand,
find themselves at a crossroads - they still have one of the game's top talents
in Kevin Garnett, but continue to have difficulties surrounding him with the
right combination to make an extended playoff run. Don't be surprised if many of
the players they have in uniform tonight aren't still with them for next year's
season series. Still, these are both proud teams, so expect them to both come
out firing tonight to try to end their seasons on a positive note.
See you there!
-- The Web Guy | 11:30 a.m. 04/05/06 |
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Have a tribute you want to make to Dominique?
Email your congrats to Wilkins here and we will post the best responses!
Dominique is my favorite player of all time and has not received the praise
that he has deserved in the past. This is a great time for me as a fan to
cherish and bring back all of my memories of the great passion that Nique played
with. Because of him I have and will be a lifetime fan of the Atlanta Hawks. I
love the Atlanta Hawks and living in Idaho there are not many other Hawk
supporters. In high school and also at college my room was plastered with
Dominique and Atlanta Hawk posters and now that I am married it is the garage
that is covered. Every year that I start in a fantasy basketball league I show
my continued Nique support becasue my team name is alway 21 Jump Street. I love
the opportunity to tell people that my favorite sports team is the Atlanta Hawks
and that Dominique is the best. Congratulations to you Dominique!
Twin Falls, Idaho
First off Nique I have to say it's about time they recognized you. You
should have been one of the 50 greatest players, but you're number one on my
list. I've followed you through your days at University of Georgia and finally
got a chance to see you play when you were with the Celtics and it was your
first game back at the Omni and I ran into your brother John Wilkins. I'm a huge
fan, I will be at the enshrinement in September to cheer on my role model, and
hope to meet you in person. God bless you and your family. I know Mrs. Wilkins
is proud of you. Thanks again for all the memories, the highlight films, and I
got to say you and Michael Jordan are pioneers of how the game is played today.
Congratulations from Europe. I think everybody agrees that your battles
with MJ and Bird, your highlights in every game you played, your slam dunk
titles, your scoring title and so on are an important part of NBA history. I had
the chance to meet you in Barcelona when you played for Panathinaikos and I have
bought your Hawks # 21 jersey on eBay. At last you got the recognition you
You are my hero for many reasons. First I would like to tell you how proud
I am of you for making the Hall. Congrats to you...the true artist of the game.
Over the years I would overcome disabilities I have had since birth. And
although I am still receiving Social Security Disability, I try hard to "make
it" out in the real world by looking for a special job where I could make a
difference. One day I will find a job that can effect people on a special level.
Dominique, you have been an inspiration to me ever since I first watched you
play against the Boston Celtics on a nationally televised game sometime during
the 1985 or 1986 season. and we won, dude!!! I pledged my allegiance along with
many new fans you gained after that stellar performance. To me, you seemed to be
a fellow artist worthy of a lifetime of adoration.
Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pa, it was hard to find out the inside scoop on the
Hawks but listening to the WSB games on AM radio every school night made my life
not only tolerable but made me feel that I was part of a winning team. I even
got to see you early on in your career during an exhibition game played in
Pittsburgh at the civic arena against the pistons.
And through all the years, your stylistic approach to the game never let me lose
interest in your career and I always "backed you up" during many arguments,
like... "just who is the best player in the game? Nique or Jordan?" Man, you and
I know the answer to that one, riiiiiight? Ha! Dominique, I just wanted to tell
you to always stay true to yourself and never give up on any of your dreams. and
when it all seems to be going wrong...trust yourself that you will come out of
it better than ever. Thanks again for unknowingly taking me for a great ride
through your NBA career. You will always be my hero.
Las Vegas NV
-- The Web Guy | 2:25 p.m. 04/04/06 |
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