Atlanta Hawks: Larry Drew to return as coach

The Hawks said they’ve exercised the option on coach Larry Drew’s contract for next season. The team signed Drew to a two-year contract with an option in 2010.

The Hawks have posted an 84-64 record with Drew as coach. They lost to Boston in the first round of the playoffs last week, ending a streak of three consecutive years in the second round. But the team’s owners and management cited the team’s 40-26 regular-season record as a success in light of several injuries to key players, including center Al Horford.

“Larry did an outstanding job this season in guiding our team to the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference, despite a condensed schedule and unfortunate injuries,” Hawks GM Rick Sund said in a statement released by the team. “The Hawks have reached the postseason in each of his years on the bench, and we feel Larry’s experience, expertise and dedication to the game were a key ingredient to our success.”

Sund’s contract expires next month. He’s been in talks with the team’s owners about re-signing but hasn’t committed to a return or publicly addressed his future. Sund’s other options include retirement or taking a part-time role with the Hawks or another team.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

601 comments Add your comment

Spyro

May 18th, 2012
1:32 pm

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

May 18th, 2012
1:33 pm

Is Sund not returning? Did he have a say in this? Prob not since LD wasn’t Sund’s guy

BIG DOG

May 18th, 2012
1:35 pm

MC you can’t be serious ?

This guy have no clue as a coach, Now i see why Josh wan’t out. JUST DAM

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Astro Joe

May 18th, 2012
1:39 pm

That kind of confirms my concerns, the decision was made prior to having Sund (or someone else) formally signed to be the Hawks GM for the ‘12-13 season. IMO, it is never a good thing for ownership to make a coaching hire (or pick up an option) without the GM being fully on-board. It creates the possibility for unneccesary distractions (not to mention having a lame duck head coach looking over hs shoulder all season long).

JM

May 18th, 2012
1:39 pm

I’m about done. Please, someone buy this damn team. Please. Larry Drew is not and has not been the answer.

JM

May 18th, 2012
1:41 pm

MC, did they even consider an upgrade at coach or are the ASG happy with the team and its accomplishments?

Dr. Warren

May 18th, 2012
1:42 pm

An option in 2010? Huh?

EmirS.

May 18th, 2012
1:43 pm

No surprise. Moving on.

ejh

May 18th, 2012
1:45 pm

This tells me the hawks are going to make one last stab at it with this roster and coach, becasuse they only excercised the option, they did not give him an extension or a new contract. Next year if the hawks do not advance to the eastern conference finals, this means new coach, new GM, new players. Josh will be let go for cap relief, Joe Johnson will be amnested, Marvin williams will be in the last year of his contract and will be traded, ZsaZsa contracts expires next year also, and jeff Teague is a restricted free Agent. So Al Horford is the lone player that has four years left on his contract. This team either gets it done this year coming up, because if not we are looking at a complete overhaul of this roster.

Mike

May 18th, 2012
1:45 pm

MC, I am trying to figure out why do I support this team for.

So in other words, they are going to submit that Josh isnt coming back and they aint going to do anything to get value back.

This is how i feel right now
“Dont push me cause I’m close to the edge”
“I’m trying not to lose my head, ah-huh-huh”

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

May 18th, 2012
1:45 pm

Sund won’t be back.

Ph%^ these ownes

EmirS.

May 18th, 2012
1:46 pm

@ Dr.Warren,

If I’m not mistaken, LD signed a contract for 2 years in the year 2010 with a 3rd year option for the 2012 – 2013 season. I think it’s just the way that was written that’s messing with you?

BIG DOG

May 18th, 2012
1:47 pm

A good coach would have adjust the line up in the Celtics series, how do you lose game 2 with Rondo being out and Allen not playing,you lose because the Hawks have a clueless coach, JUST DAM.

Your best bench player in Ivan Mr. 9 – 5 didn’t play in Celtics series LD need to explain him self, coach LD lost this series not the team, why bring back a coach when there are other good coaches waiting in the wing ? Bill Lambeer , Brian Shaw, Sam mitchell, Jerry Sloan, Van Gundy and many more, JUST DAM

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Wolfwarrior1

May 18th, 2012
1:48 pm

Whyyyyyyyyyy???????? For the love of GOD whyyyyyyy!!!!!! What is the goal each year? “HEY EVERYBODY LETS STRIVE TO MAKE IT TO THE FIRST OR SECOND ROUND OF THE PLAYOFF THEN TANK!!!!!!”

Dr. Warren

May 18th, 2012
1:49 pm

By the way, I guess Drew will be that “little birdie” on Josh Smith’s shoulder again next year “reminding” him not to throw up jumpers from as far away as Savannah. Whatever.

Donald Sterling and Rankin Smith proved long ago that you don’t need to be smart or insightful to have lots of money. Gearon and his partners are just the latest to prove that sorry point.

Mike

May 18th, 2012
1:52 pm

I really think that ASG is in their own little world, right now. This guys is making it easy to hate him and I want to hear the spin about this because its going to be good because if not. Oh boy.

KevinM

May 18th, 2012
1:54 pm

SteveW, or any other season ticket holder, I am sad for this news.

This move to bring LD back for one more year is typical and ASG continues to surprise no one with their moves.

Sund going to part-time? What? 4 hour work days getting tough on his 32 year career?

One of the worse days as a Hawks supporter in recent memory.

It just sickened me when 790 gave me this news.

This makes nil sense to anyone who has a serious thought that we would contend. To try to win based on other teams’ misfortunes…..purely sad.

How have we gotten into such an abyss as Woodson and Drew?

Dr. Warren

May 18th, 2012
1:55 pm

Emir—you are right, it is the confusing way it is written. Should be rewritten, frankly.

BIG DOG

May 18th, 2012
1:55 pm

Sund did a great a job, this was not his decision, these dum OWNER need sell the HAWKS.

I can’t blame Sund and Josh for leaving.

If im Josh would demand for trade i can’t blame him.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Slimjr

May 18th, 2012
1:56 pm

Darn it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111

Prediction: No shot with this coach at an ECF……

Too soft!! Round peg square hole….

Will research his record against the winners past two years..Its abysmal!

Out West he would not make the playoffs…

KevinM

May 18th, 2012
1:56 pm

If we’re going to be stuck with the ASG, I’m ready for the Hawks to move to another city.

I hope those who buy season tickets just revolt in big fashion.

Someone tell me why a 1 year zombie on the sidelines makes sense?

ejh

May 18th, 2012
1:57 pm

I am also interested to see if Drew Moves Al to the 4 spot while starting Pachulla at the 5 and moving josh to the 3 and marving to the bench in a sixth man role. Obviously Joe stays at the two unless you can trade him and ZsaZsa and the first round pick along with Marvin to the magic for Dwight Howard, Turkalou, and Jason Richardson, then you have the same starting lineup instead you have Dwight at the 5 spot and Richardson at the two with Turkalou off the bench, let’s see what hawks management come up with.

Slimjr

May 18th, 2012
1:58 pm

Just “turrible” news..

turbo

May 18th, 2012
1:58 pm

I guess ASG didn’t watch the last playoff game when Josh walked out of the huddle and it was obvious no one was listening to LD. Aside from the fact that he’s a horrible coach, he does not command respect. On top of that, his players are immature. That’s the worst combo possible and ASG seems content. Does anyone else here feel like ASG should be barred from ownership for sabotaging this team? We are hamstrung with JJ’s contract, our biggest producer is also our biggest detriment and refuses to show up in high pressure situations. The fans have no reason to show up for games. ASG’s solution? LETS BUILD A 3 STORY FINE DINING RESTAURANT BECAUSE SURELY THAT WILL APPEAL TO THE MAJORITY OF WORKING CLASS FANS WHO ARE ALREADY HAVING ISSUES PAYING FOR TICKETS! screw this team and it’s owners. GO GRIZZ!

KevinM

May 18th, 2012
1:59 pm

SI can now run their story, the most hated ownership in the NBA.

Slimjr

May 18th, 2012
2:00 pm

All Whatever at the 4 and ZaZa at the 5 means no rim protection= LAYUP CITY

BIG DOG

May 18th, 2012
2:01 pm

Look for the same old thing

Teague, Joe, Marvin, Josh , Horford

Marvin will be back in starting line up, SAME OLD THING.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Ray

May 18th, 2012
2:01 pm

Summer of Sameness the Sequel Act. 1 has began

The Return of L.D

brigadierjerry

May 18th, 2012
2:01 pm

hawks penny wise, pound foolish

BasketballTopFan

May 18th, 2012
2:02 pm

The Atlanta Hawks made a very good move in keeping Larry Drew as Head Coach. Good Luck next year. The Hawks could win the NBA Championship with this nucleus.

Wolfwarrior1

May 18th, 2012
2:02 pm

BARGAIN BASEMENT COACHES FOR MEDOCRE RESULTS!!! That should be the new Hawks slogan. Well Josh I hope you have better luck on another team because we make the worst decisions ever!!!! We give 100 million to a 18.9 point a game player, that decision gives us limited choices when picking up BETTER players. We have a good team but thats just it GOOD. Will we ever have the guts to go after talented individuals including coaches who can bring us to the next level. Our bench is long in the tooth but I do give T-Mack credit he actually was the spark at times and showed leadership skills on the floor other than Josh Smith. Joe Johnson is not a leader he is “JUST THERE”. Initially I will admit I was happy when they picked him up from Phoenix but now He shows how inconsistent he is in the regular season as well as the playoffs. Soon Marvin, Teague, Horford, will decide that they dont want to rot in ATL and go somewhere else. I love the Hawks, but as a fan I often wonder if the ownership cares as much as I do and other fans of the team.

Ray

May 18th, 2012
2:03 pm

What will part 2 of Act 1 bring

Prediction Gearon says that Orlando didn’t advance past the first round either nor did the Bulls.

Newsflash Gearon if you even make that mistaken both of those teams have been to a ECF and one of the teams has made it to the Finals in the last 4 years.

Ray

May 18th, 2012
2:05 pm

*statement not mistake thinking too fast for myself today lol.

*neither don’t pay attention to nor or either for that matter.

nelson

May 18th, 2012
2:07 pm

Dallas Mavericks coach, Rick Carlisle is from Lisbon, N.Y. You do not know where that is.

Mike

May 18th, 2012
2:09 pm

MC, I want to hear your opinion about this and I am starting to think if they dont make it to the ECF, then its going to be clean slate time.

Tale of Woe

May 18th, 2012
2:12 pm

And we are stuck in neutral for another year

steve brown

May 18th, 2012
2:14 pm

Bravo. Career year for the “un-coachable” Josh Smith (yes there is still work to be done). Breakout seasons for Teague and Zsa Zsa. 40 win season (equals 50 in regular season) with crippling injuries. Would still be playing if they weren’t robbed in Boston. What the hell else do you want from a coach!

jim

May 18th, 2012
2:15 pm

Say good by to Josh

Dawg

May 18th, 2012
2:16 pm

Forget trying to figure out the reasoning of keeping Larry Drew. The ASG is keeping LD because he is the least expensive option out there. Where else could they get a coach for his low price for only a 1 year committment.

It is all about price and the ASG is not going to pay much. Why do you think that Sund was hired?

Actually

May 18th, 2012
2:16 pm

“Your best bench player in Ivan Mr. 9 – 5 didn’t play in Celtics series”

Actually, Ivan played in all but the final game.

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/ivan_johnson/

tyger

May 18th, 2012
2:17 pm

Excellent decision…shoud’ve gotten 3 years

LD led his troop of wounded warriors to a 40-26 record…
He never let them quit, despite dressing only 8-9 players…
He never knew weekly or daily who was available…
Oftentimes, many were game day decisions….

Drew knew after season 1, what this team needed…
Repeatedly identified shooters…Sund responded…
Vladi, Green, Pargo, TMac…

He championed Jason Collins…he knows hoops…
He knows game not played in stat book, but in paint…
Jason not flashy but reliable and sound – responded…

Playoff is what it is…LD didnt lose games down stretch…
Lack of on-court leadership from PG, $21M, Smoove…

Even the game we won, Smoove threw ball to Rondo???…
Smoove, JJ, 6′9, 6′8 respective, but play on perimeter…
Teague simply overmatched, only a backup…

Conversely, Boston down the stretch…
Paul Pierce bullies his way to point blank range…2
Rondo finds KG in sweet spot…5 ft turnaround…2
Meanwhile, we jack up airballs, fadeaways…Game over…

He’s criticized for substitution patterns, but he’s the Coach…
I wanted alot more TMac and Ivan, but he’s the Coach…
LD has to run his show and live with the consequences…
If he doesnt win, he’s fired, doesnt matter what we think…

Kudos to ATL spirit for bringing closure to this quickly…
Now, lets get ready for draft…not sure if we need GM…
LD knows what players we need…let Asst. GM crunch #s…
Gearons calling the shots anyway…

brigadierjerry

May 18th, 2012
2:17 pm

i saw someone posted elsewhere on another blog that hawks will be 2nd best team in east next year due to bulls rose out a year. lets look at other teams i east:

phillly still young
boston no longer elite
knicks unproven bad mix
orlando dwight more than likely gone team will be worse
chi rose out for year
heat if no title this year changes
indy will be better next year

assuming josh dont get traded in summer do anyone really thin hawks can contend next year with exact core team minus a few tweaks? i dont see it especialy with this coach who comes off as a pete carroll nfl career as a coach

Actually

May 18th, 2012
2:21 pm

“All Whatever at the 4 and ZaZa at the 5 means no rim protection= LAYUP CITY”

2012 Playoffs

Al Horford: 1.33 blks / gm 1.78 blks / 48 min

Josh Smith: 1.0 blks / gm 1.23 blks / 48 min

the buster

May 18th, 2012
2:24 pm

For how much longer? Other teams that were a couple of years helplessly behind, a re now ahead of the Hawks, and some of them are still in playoffs. Why?

Slimjr

May 18th, 2012
2:26 pm

NEED TWO NEW KNOCK DOWN SHOOTERs ASAP!

Then they can bail out this coach’s vulnerable St. Johns offense [ISO JOE] and [Chuck and Duck Osh]!

Marcus

May 18th, 2012
2:29 pm

*raised eyebrow*

Mildly surprised, as I would have thought that a decision on Rick Sund is the big domino that had to fall first.
The GM would seem to be the key decision maker on:

Head coach (esp. since LD’s option was up this year)
J-Smoove (1 year left on deal, need to resign or trade)
FA inquires (depends on who is here, see J. Smith and expiring deals from 2011-2012)
Final draft big board (see J. Smith – draft-worthy talent depends on who is here and who is gone for 2012 … can you really draft for need or BPA if you aren’t sure if Smoove will be here past 2013?)

Slimjr

May 18th, 2012
2:30 pm

Josh= JC1, he’ll walk and the Swans get nothing….

Slimjr

May 18th, 2012
2:35 pm

Remember: The goal is not winning CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ATLANTA..

PROFIT PROFIT PROFIT!

That is all..

If you believe other wise can I sell ya the beautiful, magnificent GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?

Eric

May 18th, 2012
2:35 pm

Good move, Drew could have been coach of the year. Plagued by injuries he still guided the Hawks to the 4th best record in the East. Atlanta isn’t a basketball town so fans really don’t have a clue, unless the “Zen Master” or Jerry Sloan walks threw the door, Drew’s the man for this team.

NOooooo

May 18th, 2012
2:36 pm

NOOOOOOOOOO !!!