Thoughts from the Hawks faithful

As we wade through the slow-moving quagmire that is the NBA preseason,  the mind of the impatient Hawks fan needs something else to feed on. Oh sure, there are the usual arguments and discussions that we continue to hash over, while complaining on occasion about the repetition that many of us continue to perpetuate. Ironic, eh?

Really, we should be glad that we are impatient. In the not-so-distant past, there was little anticipation of the beginning of the regular season (except for the diehard fan who willingly succumbs to that once-familiar illusion of eternal summer hope). In fact, it was more often a resignation, an acceptance of the inevitable pain of regular season reality, and preposterous postseason pipe dreams.

But now? Oh, not now! Now we strut into the face of the regular season, knowing that our team IS a bonafide playoff team. Now we move forward, not hoping to sneak up on success. Now we talk of levels of success, and what is needed to attain each new level thereof. But you never forget where you came from. And sometimes recognizing the past and appreciating what was, helps you appreciate the present, and prepare you for the future.

Having said that, views of both the past and possibly the future are a welcome distraction while we argue back and forth about preseason performances and similar subjects (and you know we’ll get right back into it after this). And so, I submit to you a couple of themes by two of our very own Hawks faithful. One is of the past, one of both the present…and possibly the future.

First, written by Ariose, an “Ode to Flip” of sorts:

 

Remembering Ronald “Flip” Murray: The good, the bad and the Hot?

 I know, I know. Atlanta Hawks beat writer extraordinaire Sekou K. Smith has already given Flip his mandatory “going away” blog. But in all honesty, that was more of a “Kicked to tha curb” type of sendoff  Blog-Z style; and that’s fine, that’s exactly what we Hawks fans needed at the time. We needed a hard dose of reality, or a swift smack in the face (figuratively speaking of course). We haven’t had a player of Flip’s caliber in a long time. The fact that a player of his skill set had to come off the bench for us last season speaks to how far we’ve come as a ball club in the last few seasons. Think about it, if Flip were here at the beginning of the 2007-2008 campaign (pre-Bibby era), who would have started ahead of him? Tyronne Lue? Anthony Johnson? Oh how times have changed, and I couldn’t be more satisfied with the direction this team is headed in.

 Now that Flip has moved on, and before the regular season starts up, I think we all need to take some time to really appreciate the job that Flip did for us, and the great player that he was. Let’s face it; the guy was a straight up goon. A one-man bench mob, that got what he wanted, anytime he wanted it on the court. Flip was a pit bull on offense and defense. At 6′4″ ,  he had no problem guarding bigger shooting guards, and there aren’t too many that got the better of him well, aside from our newly acquired reserve shooting guard, but that’s a story for another day. He never met a shot he didn’t like. I remember John Hollinger saying that Flip Murray was the only reserve in the NBA who had the same amount of shot attempts as a superstar during the course of the season, but didn’t produce like one. Like every player, Flip has his flaws, <a href=”http://myespn.go.com/blogs/truehoop/0-23-80/A-Shooting-at-Flip-Murray-s-House.html”>But behind his stoic resolve, a cold hard dose of reality lies in wait.</a> By the time defenders know what’s happened it’s too late, he’s coming at you, and there’s nothing you can do to stop him.

 Now as I’m sure you Hawks fans know, there are three different types of Flip. There’s Cold, Luke Warm, and Hot.  Cold Flip is something no one wants to see. It was the difference between the Hawks being labeled as not having a bench whatsoever and us being labeled as having a decent bench. Flip is going to put up shots, but if they’re not falling, somebody in that starting lineup better be hot. Then there’s the Luke-warm flip or Mortal Flip as I like to call him. He will hit some shots and he will miss some. He gives you a punch off of the bench but it’s still just a regular day at the job. Then there’s Hot Flip, my pride and joy. Hot Flip is just Filthy, Sick-nasty. You can’t stop him, and all of those superstar attempts turn into superstar buckets. It’s truly a thing of beauty.

 Flip is one of those types of players who sneak up on you just to let you know exactly who you’re dealing with. <a href=”http://www.slamonline.com/online/media/slam-tv/2009/04/slamadaday-flip-murray-on-lou-williams/”>I think super Hawks Fan Lang Whitaker said it best with this piece in Slam.</a> That’s just vintage Flip right there. We’ve seen it before, I know you’ve all seen the infamous <a href=” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDfhTENn-z0 “> Kirk Hinrich incident </a>

 So as we turn the page on an Era and move into the Jamal Crawford Chapter of Hawks History, make sure you take the time to relive and appreciate the greatness that was <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-bRUdZK52M “>“Hot” Flip </a>

I don’t think Flip Murray could ask for a much better send off from a fan. Nice work, Ariose.

Up next is a thought or two from avid Hawks fan VaVa74, who supports our birds of prey from Portugal. We’ve all talked on the blog quite a bit about who the Hawks have invited to training camp, who might make the roster from camp, and who might get signed from elsewhere. Throughout this, VaVa74 had some interesting insights on what he would like to see, not just here in Hawksville, but in the NBA in general. He writes the following about “…the NBA’s failure to create a real minor league system and how there is
no real mechanism available for teams to sign prospects and develop raw
talent
.”

Now this does pique one’s interest to an extent, as MLB has it’s farm system, of which there are various levels of “minor league” development. Even the NFL has practice squads. Not quite the same as a minor league system, but arguably even better for both team and player alike. VaVa74 went on to express his mild consternation thusly:

“…The fact that when you sign a player and place him in the NBDL counts for the roster spots and the cap is in my opinion ridiculous.It is evident from the discussion held on Sekou’s blog that there are very few players which made the jump from being un-drafted to the level of NBA rotation.

I personally disagree that a player that went un-drafted is unable to take it a step further due to lack of talent/quality: many individuals blossom later than others and take longer to reach their ceilings.I think that this does not happen because their training/learning cycle is interrupted when they leave college and outside the NBA there are very little opportunities to develop their games within an environment specifically designed for that effect.

There is certainly a lot of raw talent which could be developed out
there, specially guys who either took the step to the pros too soon and
the ones which did not meet the academic minimums to keep/get scholarships.”

Interesting indeed. Isn’t this what David Stern and the NBA owners were supposed to be thinking about when they created the NBAD-League? Do you think it’s working, and why or why not? Will it ever work?

And one more time for Flip, ladies and gents. It hasn’t been often in recent years that a player has left the Hawks not only on good terms, but also having contributed significantly to a season that was a bonafide success. We wish you well. But not when we play the ‘Cats, heh heh!

34 comments Add your comment

Ariose

October 10th, 2009
1:08 am

Ariose

October 10th, 2009
1:19 am

Re posting the links!!!!: Watch the first Five minutes of “Hot” Flip and just appreciate the greatness!!!!! 8-O

“Hot” Flip

Kirk Hinrich incident

niremetal

October 10th, 2009
1:21 am

Good send-off to Flip indeed.

The D-League “system” really is absurd. Vava74 hit the nail right on the head – teams should be able to sign and place a couple players on a D-League squad without forfeiting a roster spot. It should be capped so that the “rich” teams can’t afford to simply stockpile young fringe talent and keep them out of other teams’ hands by simply signing and them and then relegating them to the D-League so they can see whether they pan out. Maccabi Tel Aviv has used a similar system to keep “raw” talents out of the hands of rival teams in Israel and elsewhere in the Euroleague. It’s a bad system because that allows deep teams to send players to the D-League even though those players might be in the rotation on weaker teams.

So I think a 2-player per team cap is a good idea – ie teams can send up to 2 signed players to the D-League without them taking up a roster spot. If a team wants to send 3 players to the D-League, that’s fine. They just will have to use a roster spot on that third player. But the current system where EVERY signee sent to the D-League consumes a roster spot is bad for both the teams and the players.

Ariose

October 10th, 2009
1:26 am

MORE FLIP!!!! *arnold schwarzenegger voice* CLICK IT!!!! CLICK IT NOW!!!! 8-O

But behind his stoic resolve, a cold hard dose of reality lies in wait.

I’M NOT DONE!!!!!

I think super Hawks Fan Lang Whitaker said it best with this piece in Slam.

*arnold schwarzenegger voice* DO IT!!!!!! DO IT NOWWW!!!!! 8-O

Ariose

October 10th, 2009
1:34 am

LADIES AND GENTELMEN!!! THERE HAS BEEN ANOTHER ERROR!!!! APPARENTLY THE AJC HAS A PROBLEM WITH HOT FLIP!!!!

HERE IS HOT FLIP ONCE AGAIN IN IT’S ORGINAL ENTIRETY: WATCH THE FIRST 5MIN AND ENJOY!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-bRUdZK52M

Ariose

October 10th, 2009
1:40 am

LADIES AND GENTS!!!! THE FLIP MURRAY FAN CLUB WAS HACKED!!!! 8-O

BUT DON’T WORRY! I HAVE FIXED THE PROBLEM!!!! ENJOY LANG WHITAKERS FLIP MURRAY PEICE IN ALL IT’S GLORY!!!:

http://www.slamonline.com/online/media/slam-tv/2009/04/slamadaday-flip-murray-on-lou-williams/

THE HACKERS WANTED TO STEAL FLIPS GLORY!!! BUT I WON’T LET THAT HAPPEN!!! 8-0 PLEASE ENJOY THIS MURRAY POSTERAZATION OF EPIC PROPORTIONS!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDfhTENn-z0

niremetal

October 10th, 2009
1:52 am

Ariose,

Too much more of the Flip posts, and I’ll start looking like this version of Arnold:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oA0IpS_3S-0&feature=related

niremetal

October 10th, 2009
1:52 am

(Sorry, just had to poke fun somehow ;) )

Ariose

October 10th, 2009
1:56 am

hahaha…..it’s really not a lot, a lot of the links just weren’t working. So it’s really just the few links that were in the article. They’re really good, so check them out.

ALSO, the San Antonio Spure played Olympicos today in Texas. Olypicos lost, but they look really good w/Chills, Wafer, and Klezia….I think they may finally thet that Euroleague title this season.

Here’s the Link to the NBA vid:

http://www.nba.com/video/games/spurs/2009/10/09/0010900033_oly_sas_1h.nba/index.html

Ariose

October 10th, 2009
2:00 am

Ewww@ typos….lol.

Ariose

October 10th, 2009
2:16 am

Here’s the COMPLETE Spurs-Olympiakos video recap. Some olympiakos fan said Childress had improved his jumper….it looks a little better.

http://www.nba.com/video/games/spurs/2009/10/09/0010900033_oly_sas_recap.nba/index.html?ls=gt1hp0010900033

Man, If we can work something out next season with him….

Big Ray

October 10th, 2009
3:44 am

Yes, but what is the best thing for this team, where Childress is concerned? This comes down purely to asset management, something Rick Sund has shown himself to be pretty good at so far, here in Atlanta. If he can salveage something useful from the knuckle-ball pitch that was the Childress debacle, I don’t think anybody can say much bad about the man.

Big Ray

October 10th, 2009
3:45 am

Ariose ,

Sorry about that. The blog monster had you for a minute, then I got in and found your post. It happens sometimes, and we never know what’s going to set it off….

vava74

October 10th, 2009
6:33 am

I don’t think Childress will want to be a reserve to Marvin and JJ (which would be where he could help) nor we will have any cap space to work anything else but a sign and trade.

This, unless we have such a good showing this year that Childress accepts a pay cut and signs just a one year deal to try and win something with us. Due to risk of injury, I think this is highly unlikely to happen, regardless of how well we fare.

Jin Rummy

October 10th, 2009
2:26 pm

I think he meant working out a trade…just to get free from his cap charge. I agree. We gotta trade him while he still has value.

niremetal

October 10th, 2009
3:22 pm

Next summer it should be MUCH easier to sign-and-trade him because so many teams will be under the cap. If the acquiring team has the necessary cap space, the fact that Childress is BYC will be irrelevant. If Sund can squeeze blood from that turnip, he will have achieved as close to a flawless first two summers as is possible, since the only outstanding black mark on his tenure to date is his inability to get something for Chill.

KevinA

October 11th, 2009
4:36 am

In that game Chills had 9 rebounds to go with 16 points. How interested Sund wil be in Chills may have much to do with how well Crawford plays. If Crawford does not have the banner year we expect, Chills might be the guard we are looking for. We will know a lot more about about how all this plays out closer to trading dead line.

Of course if Olympicos is willing to pay Chills he may just be gone for good.

Sautee

October 11th, 2009
9:11 am

Ariose and Vava74,

Good stuff, guys. Keep it up.

Sekou Smith

October 11th, 2009
11:53 am

Flip will be here Monday night. I know Ariose and Vava74 want him to get 40 but for the Hawks to win the game. :)

No shame in that.

vava74

October 11th, 2009
1:52 pm

Sautee,

Thanks for the props, however, some discussion on the subject would be welcome… what do you suggest to improve the NBDL?

We spend so much time discussing Siler yes, Siler no, Rio yes, Rio no that I thought that it is a shame that the existing system is not designed for success, neither of the actual league nor of its publicised player development / injury recovery purposes.

A Tribe Called Quest

October 11th, 2009
2:45 pm

Lol @ J Chill complaining about internet at a Ritz Carlton.

The same guy whose dream person to meet is a top money manager.

We all know where his priorities are at this point.

Put together his mediore/average basketball IQ, no core strength, wickedly awful-looking jumpshot, and lack of scoring, and we should all know who he really is

Native Son

October 11th, 2009
2:50 pm

I had never seen such a selfish player unti I saw Flip. He single handedly lost us several games. He helped win a few, but he lost us more. I say good riddance, and you should have taken your buddy Mo’ Evans with you. “There’s no I in team, but it is one in Flip”.

niremetal

October 11th, 2009
4:11 pm

I definitely don’t think Flip lost us more than he won us. I’m not lying awake at night crying that we lost him (unlike, say, Ariose Rummy ;) ), but I give him more credit than THAT.

Big Ray

October 11th, 2009
6:08 pm

Native Son,

You really think that about Flip? I don’t think he lost us games, and the fact that he would be viewed as a guy who could win or lose games for us probably says more about our offensive design and execution than it does about Flip.

Big Ray

October 11th, 2009
6:08 pm

And be looking for another blog in a day or two guys. This one will probably get your juices flowing a bit, heh heh heh…

Sautee

October 11th, 2009
8:44 pm

vava74,

I totally agree that the current system actually penalizes having a NBDL spot.

I’m guessing that it’s NOT one of the bigger issues for the player’s union, but it SHOULD be. Marginal players are missing out on valuable training. And it’s putting some out on the street.

It’s absurd to give a roster spot for that. Perhaps the teams should have two different roster limits like baseball (25 and 40). Say 15 and 20.

Melvin

October 11th, 2009
9:51 pm

Doc and Ariose,

I posted the link below on Sekou blog a couple days ago. I didn’t get a response form either of you. I thought you all would enjoyed ZaZa new summer workout to increase his vertical leap.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDrhQj_AHu4

Dawson Devitt (D3)

October 11th, 2009
10:13 pm

Excellent work as usual Big Ray! Great to see you back in the groove as we get set for hopefully the best Hawks season yet. Maybe Hawks, Falcons, and Thrashers can all put it together at the same time.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!! :grin:

Ed

October 11th, 2009
10:52 pm

It looks as it the Marvin, Othello, and Teague all played well in their loss to Detroit today. Really pulling for Marvin and if injury free he will have a breakout year.

niremetal

October 11th, 2009
11:01 pm

Last year, Marvin was having a breakout year defensively before he got hurt. But perimeter defense doesn’t show up in box scores, so no one who wasn’t watching Hawks games noticed. Hopefully his offense will follow suit this year. If his handle improved as much this summer as his 3-ball did last summer, watch out.

Big Ray

October 12th, 2009
2:40 am

D3 ,

I appreciate it, my man. How about that whoopin’ our Falcons gave the 49ers?! I was so giddy over that one that I nearly forgot we had a preseason game today. :)

Well, I see we lost to Detroit. Looks like Marvin’s game was on (looking at the box score), Josh is back to his “clean and swat” tactics, grabbing 7 boards and blocking 3 shots. Hmmm, I see he’s raking in more offensive rebounds these days. Hope to see that in the regular season.

I see Teague has no problem scoring, and apparently has no issue handing out a fair number of assists when his shot isn’t falling. Looking good, even if it’s just “preseason” good…

Big Ray

October 12th, 2009
3:21 am

And…the new blog is up…have at it…uh, when y’all wake up, that is…

MannyT

October 12th, 2009
12:02 pm

Tossing this in at the end of this blog…as it’s off topic for the current one and relevant to this discussion.

For all the revisions to minor league development, remember that NBA rosters used to be smaller, but they allowed you to put guys on the injured list. They eliminated the injured list but moved the max roster size up by 2 players. Your developmental players are in seats 14 & 15 on the bench (usually on minimum contracts.)

Given the state of finances in the NBA, it looks like most owners are leaning toward NOT having those developmental players. The teams have a choice and early signs are that they prefer the cash in hand over the end of bench developmental players.

On a different, but related note, the number of D-League players without specific ties to a team allows a better situation for almost everyone. If the system was like baseball, you would need a D-League team for every NBA team. This is too expensive of a minor league system to develop. Otherwise you get conflicts as the coaches play/develop some players more than others.

More importantly from a player perspective, the D-League gives a player a chance to get an opportunity with ANY of the NBA teams instead of being locked into one team that may not have a need to call up that player.

Check out the interview with Dan Reed, D-League commissioner, from the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

You can send questions directly to Dan Reed via the D-League website. Take a peek at the D-League commissioner’s blog.. You might enjoy it. The average fan will never get this type of access to a major sports league commissioner.

BWAF

vava74

October 14th, 2009
2:14 pm

MannyT,

Thank you for your contribution which makes a good point.

Nonetheless, my take is that, since the vast majority of the NBDL players do not belong to anyone, then there is little interest and effort in developing their skills and the purpose of the league is lost. It becomes just a second grade show.

When players are under contract with an NBA team, they are an asset and consequently, at least in theory, there should be some interest in enhancing the assets’ value by developing their skills and following their contribution in the NBDL more closely.