Hawks coach Larry Drew said he was going to shake things up with his slumping team, but nobody saw this coming.
The Atlanta Hawks have suspended Josh Smith for their home game Wednesday against the streaking Brooklyn Nets, the team announced. He also was fined for “conduct detrimental to the team.”
“I’m disappointed that it came to that,” Drew said, via the Hawks official twitter account. “After tonight’s game, we will embrace Josh again. My focus right now is on the team and the organization.”
No details were given, but according to a tweet from Chris Viviamore with the Atlanta Journal Constitution Smith had been kicked out of Hawks practice on Tuesday.
Smith texted a statement to Jeff Zillgitt of the USA Today who tweeted it out:
“Clearly I am competitive and was frustrated by our recent losses. I understand and respect the team’s actions and just want to get back on the court to do whatever is necessary to help my teammates. I apologize for letting them down and apologize to our fans” for missing Nets game.”
Sure, that’s exactly what Smith said. His agent or PR person didn’t write that. Why would you think so?
Zaza Pachulia will get the start in Smith’s place.
The Hawks are 3-7 in their last 10 with their defense having been dreadful and them on Monday night they scored just 58 points in an ugly loss to the Bulls. Smith has been part of the problem at both ends, but this has been a real team effort of embarrassment.
Drew was promising to change things, and if nothing else this sends a message.