Recent interviews with Hawks GM Rick Sund have been like the typical also-ran summer movies. You know - anticlimactic, plotless, and otherwise non-descript. I guess we shouldn’t have expected much from the stoic Sund, but at least he delivered the usual spin, if with a bit more vinegar than usual (is it just me or did the accurate pointedness of beat writer Michael Cunningham’s questions seem to rankle the GM just a bit?)
The interesting thing (as noted by Hawks fan/blogger Niremetal) is that Sund began the answers to several questions with “I don’t know.” Now, we could all assume that Sund is using the looming Collective Bargaining Agreement situation as a reason for not being even the least bit forthcoming with any offseason thoughts, and that would actually make sense. But what if there’s more to this? After all, if you’re reading some of the offseason chatter involving the Atlanta Spirit Group and the Hawks, you have to think the picture is getting murkier by the minute. Will the ASG sell the team? Who is interested in investing in the team? A better question might surround this thought – how big of an investor are these guys looking for, and what role will they agree on him/her playing? Anybody who wants in on the deal might be inclined to talk to a fellow by the name of Steve Belkin before doing so. I’m just sayin’….
If that isn’t enough to make you wonder, there’s also the matter of Sund’s employment status (Link is somewhat broken, but the bulk of the subject conversation can be seen and it’s a good read). Former GM Billy Knight walked away from a one year contract offer. Sund signed his. But is he in the long-term plans? Again, with the ownership and financial status being so cloudy, you really have to wonder if there are any long term plans. The team will almost certainly remain in Atlanta. That is all but a guarantee. The ASG will probably maintain control of the team. That is a likelihood, but not quite a guarantee (then again, what do I know?). Beyond that, it’s a crapshoot. A new investor means a new opinion (but will it be listened to, or will it ignite another public feud?), and Sund may not even get to serve out his one year contract. Speaking of which, just how confidence inspiring is that contract? How do you suppose Sund feels, or does he care at all? I mean, if you felt like the man did his job correctly, then give him a couple years at least. If you didn’t, then go ahead and let him go. One year? Seriously? Maybe Sund doesn’t care, and a paycheck is a paycheck. As it is, he’ll get paid if he keeps his job or if he doesn’t.
What this reeks of is….”I don’t know.” The Spirit Group does not act like they know what’s next. They don’t know who will buy into this NBA franchise, which is understandable. They don’t seem to know what they want to do next, which is sadly predictable and frustratingly consistent. So nobody knows anything. But hey, we can speculate!
The lone certainty
If there is an NBA season, we can bet on one thing – 3 or 4 minimum contract players on the team. While most of us can’t stomach another Josh Powell or Randolph Morris, there are going to be these kind of guys on the team. So what kind of guys should the Hawks go after? Should Hilton Armstrong and Magnum Rolle get a shot at fortifying the end of the bench? Does Damien Wilkins get another one year deal? What’s YOUR opinion on all of this?
Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest Blog