Patience a virtue, indecision a detriment

Patience is a virtue. Good things come to those who wait. Such wonderful old sayings, but do they apply to the ongoing search for a new Atlanta Hawks head coach?

Scratch that, the Atlanta Hawks aren’t searching for a coach. They don’t need to be patient or wait for good things to come to them. How many coaching candidates have come their way already? How many interviews have been conducted? How many guys are still out there, ready for a job? This isn’t about patience. This isn’t about long-suffering. It’s about indecision, and no matter how you try to spin that, indecision is a detriment to any organization. You cannot strike while the iron is hot, if you’re going to deliberate all day on what kind of hammer to use, or where you want the anvil positioned.  Or is the issue more primitive? Is it as simple as one person liking this guy, and the other person liking another, with neither willing to budge on the horse he’s backing? How many people are backing different guys? What does it take to come to an agreement or compromise of some sort? Isn’t this sort of thing what went on the first time the Atlanta Spirit Group had a major faction (hello, Steve Belkin) issue?

Maybe many of us, myself included, are being unreasonable. Maybe those with differing opinions have very valid points. It’s not like we know the details of the situation right now. We have to rely on what is reported, and that is never the whole story. Perhaps debate is a good thing. At some point however, debate mutates into indecision. Indecision leads to confusion, lack of confidence, and eventually wholesale destruction of an organization.

Here’s a quick solution for the owners – let Rick Sund make the choice in the end, and don’t take it personal if he doesn’t back the guy you picked. Why? Because that’s what you pay him to do. Right? Um…..right? Sometimes, I really wonder. Doesn’t every team have a team governor? Doesn’t the governor get the final say so on transactions like this (unless of course, there is a coup d’ etat in the works…ahem, ahem..)? At the very least, that should work if you don’t trust your General Manager to do the job you hired him to do.

By the way, for those who are wanting David Stern to broker a deal that gets different ownership of the Hawks, I have news for you: it was David Stern who got this group together. Send him a letter. He might read it after he gets finished levying a fine on The Pope for complaints about the officiating in game 3 of the NBA Finals. I heard the Papal office hasn’t been this ticked off since Dan Brown wrote those books…

Back to the point at hand. We as fans probably aren’t nearly as upset about the fact that a head coach hasn’t been selected yet. We probably aren’t even collectively concerned with the fact that some of the hotter names have gone elsewhere.  What has us so bugged is yet another public report, pointing out the apparent flaws in the organization that we squawk about on blogs all the time, but secretly hope aren’t really true. Do we complain about the decisions (or lack thereof) in ownership, on the sideline, and in the front office? Of course, we’re fans, it’s what we do! But we do so among ourselves. Nothing is worse than having your fears canonized by a media report, especially from an outside source.

So what say you, Hawks fans? Are you disappointed in what you are hearing? Is this just a matter of logistical issues (different schedules of different candidates vs the schedules of the owners), or is there a deeper problem here, one that might have been there from the beginning? Is the sky really falling, or are we just that impatient? Am I having an overreaction to a perceived lack of action?

Sound off…




- I am convinced that there is not a sign and trade move involving Joe Johnson that will satisfy Hawks fans. Some scream for him to go, but won’t be happy with what comes back (assuming he doesn’t just walk out of here for nothing). Others scream for him to stay, which I maintain is entirely up to him and his agent. But as is often the case, a sign and trade is a concession. If it’s going to happen, keep in mind that it’s better than losing Joe for nothing, and becomes purely about asset management at that point. Still, it doesn’t mean you have to, or don’t have to like it.

- It’s looking more and more like Tom Izzo may be NBA bound. But we’ve seen this before, haven’t we? College coaches usually get eaten alive when they get to the League. Guys like Tim Floyd and John Calipari could tell you all about it. What makes Izzo different? Are the Cavs just reaching (careful, Chris Grant, or you may be back to running coaxial cables for the IT department, like you used to for the Hawks, or whatever BS job that was you supposedly were doing), or have they found their magic man? Of course, Izzo could leave them at the altar, the way Billy Donovan did the Orlando Magic.

- Back on the sign and trade thoughts…if we do a deal that involves Joe Johnson going to Chicago, with us getting some guys in return, there may be a third guy you want to add to the “don’t touch” category, besides Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. That guy would be Taj Gibson. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but the Bulls were high on Gibson, and I’m not sure they would let a guy like Gibson go after giving up Tyrus Thomas (whom they stupidly traded the rights to LaMarcus Aldridge for). Besides, that would leave them with an initial choice between Hakim Warrick and James Johnson as their starting power forward. Neither is a starter, and Johnson is not the enforcer/dirty work guy that Gibson is becoming. Still, if the want Joe bad enough (and Joe wants THEM bad enough), it could possibly happen. My money is on them offering Luol Deng and something else. Better than nothing, but we would not be happy with that deal, I’m sure.

- New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Gorbachev…oops, I’m sorry, I meant Prokhorov, says he wants to win an NBA Championship in 5 years. Well, I suppose just about anything can be bought, but the Nets don’t have a superstar yet, and I don’t see Brook Lopez dominating the league, or even at his position. Good luck with that one. Will Prokhorov turn out to be as “hands on” as Mark Cuban has? Avery Johnson may have gotten himself into a situation similar to the one he left in Dallas.


Who knows. Maybe we’ll wake up tomorrow (wait, it’s past midnight already), and find that we have something new to complain about. You know, like a head coach. Or maybe not. See ya then…



54 comments Add your comment


June 11th, 2010
8:42 pm

First of all, congratulations are in order for Drew.

Best wishes. His eventual success will be OUR joy.

Let’s hope that it will materialize.

Second, it’s unfair to disqualify someone just because he was a member of a staff. He tried to go away a while ago to pursue his own career SEPARATELY FROM WOODY, but was not allowed to walk.

This tells us two things: he was seen as valuable and knowledgeable by Woody, but drew himself was already fed up with Woody’s lack of acceptance of his input and was not there “just for the pay check”.

Third, it was widely reported by Sekeu that Drew disagreed strongly of Woody’s work and did not get him to accept any of his input.

That alone proves – IMO – that he knew what most of us knew already: Woody’s Hawks were a house of cards.

Fourth, yes, it is a low profile choice and a choice which does not bring the fresh air which sometimes is necessary but:

Avery has not proven to be successful in the post season with two crash and burn situations and a bad rep as a guy who gets into everyone’s nerves.

Casey has been reported by Wolves’ bloggers cited by some one over here as a Woody mark 2.0.

Mark Jackson’s signing would certainly be a “sexy” move by the ASG but why is he deserving of more trust than a guy who has been in the league for 30 years as a player and assistant coach?

Finally, if this was not Sund’s choice, which seems pretty obvious, how does he feel now?

(sorry for the typos – can’t get back to correct in the iPhone)


June 11th, 2010
10:04 pm

Whoop dee damn Drew…


June 12th, 2010
2:51 pm

Special Features Send this link to a friend View Participant’s Press Room Page
David Stern Told S.I. Legalized Gambling on the NBA May Be a Huge Opportunity Boynton Beach, FL Saturday, April 17, 2010
In May 1996, Horace Balmer, the NBA’s vice president for security, had two speakers flown to Norfolk, Va., whose messages were even very disturbing. Michael Franzese, a former mob boss who fixed professional and college games for organized crime, and Arnie Wexler, who for 23 years was a compulsive gambler. Franzere said, “I talked to the NBA rookies earlier this season . . . and it’s amazing how many confided to me that they have gambling habits. I’m not going to mention their names, but if I did, you would know them” “I personally got involved in compromising games with players, and it all came through their gambling habits.’ ( THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT -May 11, 1996 )

Ten years ago, as a compulsive-gamblers counselor, I was asked to fly to New York to the National Basketball Association office in Manhattan and met with league officials, players and union officials, concerned about players’ gambling. I was told, “We have a problem, and we’re trying to find out how bad the problem is” Officials asked me to keep my calendar open for the spring of the following year and said to me that they wanted me to address every team and player in the league. They then flew my wife in, and we had a second meeting they asked us develop questions that were going to be given to the players to answer. “We need to know how big the gambling problem is in the N.B.A,”

When I hadn’t heard from the N.B.A, I called and asked, “When do we start?” The talked were cancelled, and the response I got was this: “They said that the higher-ups didn’t want the media to find out”

Some years ago, I was on a TV show with Howard Cossell (ABC Sports Beat). The topic was: Does the media encourage the public to gamble? David Stern, NBA commissioner said: “We don’t want the week’s grocery money to be bet on the outcome of a particular sporting event”

Yet on Dec. 11, 2009, commissioner David Stern told (the website for Sports Illustrated) that legalized gambling on the NBA “May be a huge opportunity”

I wonder how many addicted gamblers placed the first bet they ever made on an NBA game.

The National Gambling Study Commission said that there are “5 million compulsive gamblers and 15 million at risk in the U.S” Forty-eight percent of the people who gamble bet on sports.

Get the real scoop: Talk to me, Arnie Wexler, one of the nation’s leading experts on the subject of compulsive gambling and a recovering compulsive gambler. I placed my last bet on April 10, 1968, and has been involved in helping compulsive gamblers for the last 40 years. Through the years, I have spoken to more compulsive gamblers than anyone else in America and has been fighting the injustice of how sports, society and the judicial system deal with compulsive gamblers.

Athletes may be more vulnerable than the general population when you look at the soft signs of compulsive gambling: high levels of energy; unreasonable expectations of winning; very competitive personalities; distorted optimism; and bright with high IQs.

It is time for college and professional sports to outline and execute a real program to help players who might have a gambling problem or gambling addiction problem. Yet college and professional sports still do not want to deal with this. They do not want the media and public to think there is a problem.

And over the years, I have spoken to many college and professional athletes who had a gambling problem. One NCAA study a few years ago reported: “There is a disturbing trend of gambling among athletes in college” You can’t think that these people will get into the pros and then just stop gambling.

Compulsive gambling is an addiction just like alcoholism and chemical dependency, and all three diseases are recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic and statistical manual. Nevertheless, we treat compulsive gambling differently than the other addictions. Society and professional sports treat people with chemical dependency and alcoholism as sick persons, send them to treatment and get them back to work. Sports looks at compulsive gamblers as bad people and gets barred them from playing in professional sports.

There are people in various sport’s halls of fame who are convicted drug addicts and alcoholics, yet compulsive gamblers are unable to get into these halls of fame. In fact, as far as professional sports goes, an alcoholic and chemical dependent person can get multiple chances, whereas a gambler cannot. I have been fighting the injustice of how sports, society and the judicial system deal with compulsive gamblers for many years.

If colleges and professional leagues wanted to help the players, they would run real programs that seriously address the issue of gambling and compulsive gambling. Education and early detection can make a difference between life and death for some people who have or will end up with a gambling addiction.

One sports insider said to me: “Teams need to have a real program for players, coaches and referees, and they need to let somebody else run it. When you do it in-house, it’s like the fox running the chicken coop. You must be kidding yourself if you think any player, coach or referee is going to call the league and say, ‘I’ve got a gambling problem, and I need help.’ ”

The Wexlers run a national help line for gamblers who want help 888 LAST BET

Arnie Wexler (

Arnie & Sheila Wexler Associates

Boynton Beach FL

Office #: 561-200-0165

Cell#: 954-501-5270

Arnie Wexler
Arnie & Sheila Wexler Associates
Boynton Beach, FL

Contact Arnie Wexler
Ask a question with InterviewNetSM


June 16th, 2010
11:05 am

Quite simply: We are o screwed.

The Hawks have something good and are ready to explode as a premiere NBA team and we get the great stall. They knew before the season was over Woody was a gonner, unless they won the title. Still looking? Pay $50 million for player payroll and go cheap on the coach? We are so screwed.