Report: Pero Antic leaving NBA to play overseas


Pero Antic is a 6’11” power forward who played for the Hawks the past two seasons, and was known for his ability to occasionally stretch the floor by knocking down shots from three-point distance.

But entering a summer where he’s facing restricted free agency, it appears as though Antic has decided to take his talents overseas, rather than dealing with the politics of figuring out his next stateside destination.

From Nikos Varlas of

Pero Antic is a restricted free agent, however he already decided to return to Europe. The former Euroleague champion with Olympiacos has a deal in place with Fenerbahce/ Ulker which is expected to be formalized in the next days.

The official announcement is the only thing missing. Antic after two seasons in the NBA returns to Europe and Fenerbahce needs many new faces in its front line, specially after losing its ancor, Nemanja Bjelica. However Antic is expected to be used mainly in the center position, replacing Luca Zoric.

It’s worth wondering if Antic’s decision was at all affected by the police incident he and teammate Thabo Sefolosha were involved in near the end of the regular season.

Whether it was or it wasn’t, the numbers showed that he regressed year over year with the Hawks. At age 32, the safer bet, from both the standpoint of available dollars as well as on-court expectations, might simply to be to return to playing in a league where he can more readily dominate at his position.

Court date set for Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic after NYPD incident


In April, Hawks players Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic were arrested outside a New York City nightclub in an incident that also saw Pacers forward Chris Copeland get stabbed. Sefolosha suffered a season-ending leg injury after an altercation with the New York Police Department, and has been very vocal since then about his belief that the injury was caused by the police and was unwarranted. Now, both Hawks players have a court date set for next week.

From Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Hawks players Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha have a date in New York City Criminal Court next week as they face misdemeanor charges stemming from an arrest outside a nightclub in April.

The hearing will be held Tuesday, June 16 at 9 a.m. and is the next procedural step in the case before a trial date is set.

Both players were charged with obstructing governmental administration. Antic also was charged with one count of disorderly conduct and one count of second-degree harassment. Sefolosha also was charged with one count of resisting arrest and one count of disorderly conduct. The players have remained steadfast in their innocence.

In a recent interview with ESPN, Sefolosha said the incident greatly hurt his reputation as well as his health and well-being. “We are talking about the stress that it has brought to the entire family, you know, my mom and dad in Switzerland, my brothers and sisters, my wife,” he said. “Also, the damage to my reputation. I’ve had people texting me about what they saw in the newspaper and things like this. Every aspect of my life was affected by something like this, and I think putting light on the aftermath of something like this, I think that’s also something that’s important.”

DeMarre Carroll says the Hawks took their foot off the gas down the stretch


The Atlanta Hawks who got swept out of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers looked nothing like the Atlanta Hawks who won 17 straight games and didn’t lose once in January. Heck, that January team was MIA the final month of the season and most of the playoffs. The uniforms were the same, but aside that it felt like two different teams.

What happened? Injuries were a part of it, but DeMarre Carroll said it was more on the Hawks not being focused. Carroll was on the Sports Radio Talk Show “Go For It”, hosted by former ESPN employee Paul Gant (you can follow it here) and was honest about the Hawks shortcomings.

“I just think that towards the season we knew we were the number one seed we never been in this position before,” Carroll said. “I think we probably took our foot off the gas and I think we learned this season we can’t take the foot off the gas and the good teams can easily play at a high level for a long period of time.”

Carroll on what happened against the Cavaliers, and his knee injury that he played through.

“I think the first game we kind of let it slip away from us,” Carroll said. “We came out the first half really aggressive and I think the second half we didn’t come out wight he same energy and then after that everything started going downhill as far as me being injured, Kyle Korver too, Al (Horford) getting thrown out the game, Shelvin Mack gets injured. So there was a lot of obstacles against us, but you we gotta look forward to next year…

“I was limited big time but the same token many people did not know it was my knee but also had turf toe so it was all on the same leg. Basically, I was just out there on one leg at the same token I got out there I gave it my all but at the end of the day we still came up short as a team.”

Carroll said he thought a healthy Hawks team would have beaten the Cavaliers, adding they really missed Thabo Sefolosha (who missed the entire series after his run in with the NYPD). Not sure what else you would expect a competitor like Carroll to say.

As for Carroll’s pending free agency, he danced around that question.

“You know Atlanta played a big/major role in my life, major part of my family life so it would always be good to get back to Atlanta its a  great system that I grew up in and you know kind of excelled in,” Carroll said. “But, on the same token, my options are open and hopefully its Atlanta they will and have, they will be one of my best options but like I said before my options are open and Mark Bartelstein my agent he will handle all that process. He just told me to sit back and enjoy the ride.”


Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha says police incident damaged his reputation


Thabo Sefolosha was supposed to provide elite defense and three-point shooting off the bench for the top-seeded Hawks during their run through the postseason, but a late-night incident with police in New York city put an end to all that before the playoffs got started.

Sefolosha was ruled out for the season after suffering a leg fracture while in police custody, and said in no uncertain terms that his injury was caused by the police.

Now that Atlanta has been eliminated from playoff contention, Sefolosha went into a little more detail about what he’s been going through since the unfortunate encounter took place.

From Kevin Arnovitz of

“I was injured in the hands of the police, and it took away a lot from my everyday life,” Sefolosha said during an interview at his home. “From being able to help put the kids in bed, going up and down the stairs.

“We are talking about the stress that it has brought to the entire family, you know, my mom and dad in Switzerland, my brothers and sisters, my wife. Also, the damage to my reputation. I’ve had people texting me about what they saw in the newspaper and things like this. Every aspect of my life was affected by something like this, and I think putting light on the aftermath of something like this, I think that’s also something that’s important.”

There’s more that Sefolosha shared, including (needlessly) defending himself for being out so late when the incident took place.

It’s honestly shocking that this wasn’t a much bigger national news story that carried with it an extended shelf life. While not a household name, Sefolosha was a key reserve on the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference. Imagine, for example, if a role player for the Warriors or Cavaliers suffered a comparable fate — with all the attention surrounding Stephen Curry and LeBron James, it’s hard to believe a scenario like this involving one of their teammates would be similarly swept under the rug.

Hawks’ Shelvin Mack suffered ‘pretty bad’ shoulder separation against Cavaliers

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Between Thabo Sefolosha, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Paul Millsap and Al Horford, the Hawks faced far too many injuries during the playoffs.

To rub salt in the wound, there was one more during garbage time of Atlanta’s elimination loss to the Cavaliers.

Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Shelvin Mack will have surgery for a Grade 5 separation of the right shoulder on Tuesday. The Hawks guard said he would miss 3-4 months with the injury which included ligament damage.

“It’s pretty bad,” Mack said Thursday during exit interviews.

The good news for Mack: His contract is fully guaranteed for next season.

The good news for the Hawks: Jeff Teague is their starter, and Dennis Schröder has emerged as the clear backup. Atlanta signed Mack as a placeholder while Schröder developed, and that has happened pretty quickly. The Hawks can easily allow Mack time to heal – even if that goes into training camp or even the season.