The Atlanta Hawks were moving on.
Danny Ferry, formerly of the Spurs organization, went and poached Gregg Popovich’s lead assistant Mike Budenholzer, and they are trying to create San Antonio East in the ATL. With Al Horford in the role of Tim Duncan.
Josh Smith wasn’t part of those plans.
Smith will face the Hawks on Wednesday and so reporters wanted to talk about Smith’s exit from Atlanta to land in Detroit. He told the Journal-Constitution the Hawks made no effort to keep him.
“No, there wasn’t,” Smith said when asked if there was a contract offer. “During free agency, during that period, there were a lot of guys out in L.A. that were meeting with various teams. I was one of those guys. That’s where I work out in the summertime as well. The only time I saw the Hawks during free agency was when they came to one of my workouts just to say hello. I think they were meeting with Dwight Howard that day. They never came in or sat down with me during the free agency period to offer me anything.”
Except for the saying hello part, that is what Ferry had already said about the summer.
Atlanta is off to a nice 6-4 start, which is early but roughly on pace for the high 40s in wins, which is a little better than the 42 of last season. But what the Hawks have really gained with their moves is way more financial flexibility to tweak the roster. They are not contenders but they are in a better position to build going forward.
They have chosen, wisely.
As for Smith, he landed in Detroit, which has an interesting roster that is really struggling defensively to start the season.
When you ask Lakers fans for bold predictions, you get the delusional to come out of the woodwork.
Most Lakers fans I know — remember, I’m a former Laker blogger living in So Cal, even my optometrist wants to talk Lakers during my eye exam — are realistic about where the team is in the rebuild process. Like me, they want to see a healthy season of Kobe Bryant where he can choose whether or not to continue his career on his terms, not Father Time’s.
But Lakers exceptionalism is a thing, and there are Lakers fans living in a fantasy land.
That’s what Jenna Corrado and I get to in the latest PBT Extra: There are Lakers fans that think they are playoff bound. And there are people who expect even more than that from this team this year — like Kobe Bryant to return to MVP form. Those people need to stop taking so much glaucoma medication.
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.
Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.
Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.
A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”
Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.