Allow me to reintroduce myself my name is. . .

. . . not Hov’, and that’s fine by me. Because what’s Jigga got that I don’t except fame, talent, money and Beyonce? I’ve got a beat and a blog, baby!

Seriously, tonight’s game is my debut as the permanent replacement for my man Sekou Smith on the Hawks beat. I’m new to Atlanta but this is a reintroduction of sorts because I’ve been out of the sports writing game since last May. That was not by choice but because of cutbacks at the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where I covered the Miami Heat among other things. Grad school was calling my name until the AJC called me up. I feel fortunate to land here.

My last personal experience with the Hawks was covering that ugly playoff series with the Heat in ‘09. Since I got this gig I’ve been following Ken Sugiura’s fine coverage (big thanks to Ken for so graciously going out of his way to help me make a smooth transition). I tried to keep up with all things NBA and Hawks and caught as many games as possible for an unemployed hack who couldn’t afford to splurge on League Pass. I’ve formed a few thoughts from afar, but you’ve got to be here to really know what’s up.

I’m here now and I see that, despite that 25-13 record, not all of you are happy. You think Woody’s offense is too much Iso-Joe. You think Teague should get more burn. You can’t get over Marvin Williams not being Deron Williams or at the very least not being more assertive. You wish the Hawks would get up for Cleveland, Orlando and the likes of the Knicks the same way they do for the Celtics.

You’ll hear from me on those and other topics as we go along. But I think the most important thing to take from all your grumbling is that you care about the Hawks. I respect that. I care that you care. It’s my job to give you your Hawks fix and I take that responsibility seriously, but I hope we can have some fun along the way. My aim is to be informative, entertaining, fair, interesting and, above all else, honest.

My feelings don’t get hurt easily so call me out when I make mistakes. There will be times you think my takes are wack and that’s cool. In fact, being a marketplace of ideas kind of guy, if you think my opinon is weak please hit me up in the blog comments, email or Twitter and let me know. I like being right but I don’t have so much ego that I’m not willing to consider other angles and admit when I’m off base. The Hawks are your team and I’m your guy at the AJC so let’s make this interactive.

I’ve got no hidden agendas. I try to know what the heck I’m talking about before I write it. I’m a professional so criticism is never personal. I’ve got no favorite NBA team or any pro team for that matter–sports hack cynicism long ago stamped out my childhood love for the Dallas Cowboys. I’m a native of Louisville, Ky. and a University of Louisville alum so I do love my Cardinals (I’ve already disclosed this to proud Kentucky guy Randolph Morris, and he assures me we still can get along). Otherwise, I’m a dispassionate observer.

I’ve been at this sports writing thing for going on 12 years now, with stops in Louisville and Milwaukee before Fort Lauderdale. I’ve covered an NBA champion (2006 Heat) and a 106-loss baseball team (2002 Brewers). I’ve covered a respected franchise builder (Pat Riley) and, um, the opposite (Dave Wannstedt). I’ve watched a player lift a team to unprecedented heights (Dwyane Wade) and I’ve seen a player send a season up in smoke (Ricky Williams). Hopefully through all of that I’ve gained some perspective on how to chronicle games and the people who play them and can bring that to my Hawks coverage.

I’m glad to be here covering the Hawks and I hope you will be end up glad about that, too. You’ll get my best shot even if I ain’t no perfect man. I’m trying to do . . . the best that I can . . . with what it is I have.

MC

385 comments Add your comment

Hawk Str8Talk

January 15th, 2010
5:33 pm

Welcome to the A! From a fellow blogger with an opinion (@hawkstr8talk; http://www.hawkstr8talk.com) – welcome to the craziness that is Atlanta Hawks basketball. I’m off to the game right now. Best wishes

Gilley

January 15th, 2010
5:40 pm

I knew your name looked familiar. I visit Miami often and read the Sun there. Welcome. Look forward to reading your articles and blogs even though Sekou will be hard to replace…LOL But Hawks need to play Jeff Teague more! You see what Sundaita Gaines did. No player would get that chance with Woody and thats terrible.

super g

January 15th, 2010
5:40 pm

welcome mc. thanks for the intro. looking forward to your blogs. the more the better.

Josh Smildress

January 15th, 2010
5:54 pm

Good new blog, great to have you over here and look forward to reading your Hawks coverage.

Ben

January 15th, 2010
5:55 pm

Welcome aboard! The more blogs the better!! yeah can someone please tell me why we didn’t sign Sundiata Gaines to a 10day contract? The guy can clearly play ball at the PG spot and would of been a nice backup for us. But Mario West did come in the other night and look pretty good being active which is another thing we need. I would of signed them both.

tjhook

January 15th, 2010
6:00 pm

Hey, you sound (write) like you’re going to give us some good energy and raw truth about what’s going on with the Hawks. I’m a soldier living in Texas so I’m looking forward to the Hawks’ Texas swing to Houston and San Antonio this month. I might be the only one repping the Hawks out here in the stadium. I must say I want Marvin off the team if he can’t get enough nerve to consistently drive to the hole. Also, could you ask Rick Sund if it is possible to bring Josh Childress back midseason?

O'Brien

January 15th, 2010
6:22 pm

Welcome to the blog. Do you go by Michael? MC? Mr. Cunningham?

Maybe your Heat charm from 2006 will help bring us a championship this year.

BONE

January 15th, 2010
6:58 pm

Welcome to the Terrordome.

Be warned Mike Woodson might make you want to hurt somebody.

Freshmaker

January 15th, 2010
7:00 pm

Welcome aboard Michael! Glad you could join us. :)

vava74

January 15th, 2010
7:02 pm

Whilst Sekou was here, there were a few that said he sucked.

Then he left and Ken sucked and people missed Sekou.

Now Ken left… You suck and people will miss Ken.

Let me be the first to tell you: you suck!!!

There you go! You got the first insult and you can get that out of your way.

Welcome a board!!!

As you may already know, we have quite a roudy bunch over here:

big ray, sautee, manny t, melvin, niremetal, hb ando, Daniel are a few of the most sane regulars.

Then you have rod-I-hate-marvin, jeje-they-all-suck, ken-woody-did-this-woody-did-that-strickland and clyde-fire-woody-roll-tide which are the broken records…

Truth-serum/joemamma/nunnayobizznez who is the resident loony…

And a few european regulars of which I like to think of myself I am the most notorious.

vava74

January 15th, 2010
7:10 pm

I hope you have a good sense of humour :)

vava74

January 15th, 2010
7:16 pm

Forgot to mention quite a few other notables, amongst them truth-serum’s 657 other aliases, samuel-woody-coy, geemack-lets-make-trade-and-try-to-win-now, granddad-bring-a-big-with-interior-presence-on-defense…

vava74

January 15th, 2010
7:18 pm

Replace melvin with astro joe…

Can you tell that I don’g have anything else to do until the match???

Michael Cunningham

January 15th, 2010
7:20 pm

Thanks to all for the well wishes. Let’s do this.

@str8talk: cool, look me up.

@Gilley: so you are that guy who read me in South Florida. agreed Sekou is a tough act to follow but I’m gonna give it a go.

@tjhook: thanks. will ask Sund when i see him.

@o’brien: anything but Mr. Cunningham. make me sound old and distinguished, and i’m neither. and i can assure you i had nothing to do with that Heat title.

@vava: thanks for the lowdown. i welcome all Hawks peeps, sane or otherwise.

Ernest

January 15th, 2010
7:34 pm

Welcome to the ATL and the blog! You’ll find many basketball knowledgeable fans here that love to talk about their Hawks. There are also several good fan blogs out there. You may want to drop a line to them and enlarge the community.

Look forward to having you lead the conversations!

Alien in ATL

January 15th, 2010
7:35 pm

Welcome Michael. Although I dislike your previous stint with Miami (and you still seem to have tremendous admiration for the Dwayner), I hope your promises of unbiased no hidden agenda’s come through! Looking forward to read your comments (and I’m another of those Europeans).

KevinA

January 15th, 2010
7:40 pm

Michael

Welcome aboard,

Ken’s last blog was one of his best. Filled with links and interesting information. Another thing Ken did well was taking questions from the blogs to the players and Woody and reporting the comments. Love that interaction. Good luck and bring it.

truly1

January 15th, 2010
7:41 pm

welcome buddy

Blast

January 15th, 2010
7:44 pm

Welcome to our blog, Michael C.

Blast

January 15th, 2010
7:47 pm

Avery Johnson sounds like a girl with his tinny, whinny, squeaky, little voice.

bigdave

January 15th, 2010
7:57 pm

lets get it…

Sautee

January 15th, 2010
8:02 pm

Hello Michael, welcome to the “Liar’s Table” as doc has so aptly named this room.

Glad to have you with us.

rms

January 15th, 2010
8:04 pm

you better be good! look for the usual names like big ray, ken strickland, astro joe, and whoever else name pops up here all the time to guide you along the way.

Sautee

January 15th, 2010
8:06 pm

Great, now I’ll have “Sympathy For The Devil” in my head all night.

Hoo hoo, hoo hoo.

BONE

January 15th, 2010
8:07 pm

Josh could have taken that to the basket

Melvin

January 15th, 2010
8:07 pm

Welcome aboard Michael. We look forward to having you but if you come on here with that Miami Heat stuff, we will chin chick you quick….lol… Just kidding, glad to have you…

BONE

January 15th, 2010
8:09 pm

Bibys defense is so bad it’s the opponent uncomfortable LOL

BONE

January 15th, 2010
8:10 pm

Bibbys defense is so bad it makes the opponent uncomfortable LOL

rms

January 15th, 2010
8:11 pm

BONE

January 15th, 2010
8:12 pm

Joe with the terrible shot

BONE

January 15th, 2010
8:13 pm

This is the perfect game 4 Teague. Bibby is too slow

J.J.M.

January 15th, 2010
8:15 pm

smh why dont marvin just dunk

BONE

January 15th, 2010
8:15 pm

Man bench Bibby please

O'Brien

January 15th, 2010
8:15 pm

During Woody’s pregame, he said “Leave the refs alone”. I’m pretty sure that was for Josh lol

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 15th, 2010
8:16 pm

Marvin Williams would be a star in the D-League

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 15th, 2010
8:17 pm

Marvin has “10 day contract” talent

Blast

January 15th, 2010
8:18 pm

Woody is going to bring in Jamal now, I’m sure.

BONE

January 15th, 2010
8:18 pm

And I was starting to give marv his props

J.J.M.

January 15th, 2010
8:18 pm

lmao marvin benched

mississippi

January 15th, 2010
8:19 pm

MC- welcome to the party that continually repeats itself.

Hubie Brown is far and away the best color man in basketball. I wish I could hear him do every hawks game.

Blast

January 15th, 2010
8:20 pm

Joe finally goes to the line.

BONE

January 15th, 2010
8:21 pm

This game is so ugly

BONE

January 15th, 2010
8:22 pm

Bibby get your azz on the bench

2 FOR JOHN DREW

January 15th, 2010
8:22 pm

Marvin is a of the worst finishers i’ve ever seen SERIOUSLY …..UUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHH !!

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 15th, 2010
8:23 pm

Horford is BALLIN hard

BONE

January 15th, 2010
8:23 pm

Man the hawks go up so soft.

KevinA

January 15th, 2010
8:24 pm

Ugly Ugly Ugly

BONE

January 15th, 2010
8:24 pm

I’ve seen women go to the basket harder than they do.

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 15th, 2010
8:25 pm

Same deal as I’ve saw in MOST of the Hawks games against Good teams…..They FORCE Johnson to give it up……some other people are going to have to step up….so some of the pressure if off Joe..and he’s going to have to give the ball up sooner when they double him…

Sautee

January 15th, 2010
8:25 pm

Guards are losing floor balance. When Joe goes to the paint, Craw and Bibby should rotate out.