Atlanta Hawks: Smith calls himself a ‘mid-range shawty’

Vivlamore reporting following Hawks media day.

Josh Smith may not hear the groans from the Philips Arena crowd when he squares up to take a 3-pointer this season.

Why? Listen to Smith tell it.

“You haven’t seen the roster?” Smith turned around a reporter’s question about his long-range shooting plans on a rebuilt Hawks roster. “We’ve got Kyle Korver, Devin Harris, Louis Williams, Anthony Morrow, Anthony Tolliver. Am I missing anyone? Jeff Teague. … So there we go. That answers that question. I didn’t even say my name did I? Call me mid-range shawty.”

Smith is one of only five returning players from last season’s team as practice begin Tuesday for the 2012-13 season. He remained as the Hawks, under the direction of new general manager Danny Ferry, rebuilt a franchise that made the playoffs five straight seasons. Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams are no longer here. Smith is the longest-tenured Hawk and enters his ninth season, all with his hometown team after being drafted in 2004 out of high school.

It wasn’t a guarantee he would remain in Atlanta. Smith heard his name come up in one trade rumor after another. Then again, he’s used to it.

He played flag football during the summer with friend Rajon Rondo and it turned into talk that he was headed to Boston to rejoin his high school roommate.

“There’s been talk about that since I’ve been here,” Smith said on constant trade rumors.

Smith, 26, is entering the final year of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Ferry told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it is “unlikely” the two sides will reach a new deal before the offseason. It doesn’t mean Smith is playing his last season in Atlanta. He could sign an extension before June 30, but it would be for a maximum of three years. After that date he could sign a new contract for a maximum of five years and worth just under $100 million. There is risk involved, for player and coach, but one both sides are willing to make.

“My mindset is making it to the playoffs,” Smith said. “I’m not worrying about any contract discussions. I think the team and I are on the same page. We know what we are going to do. My main concern is making the playoffs and winning basketball games.”

It is a big season for Smith. He knows it. The organization knows it. If the “semi-rebuilding” Hawks, as Smith puts it, are not to take a step backward he must improve his game. Both Ferry and coach Larry Drew said it is their job to help Smith reach another level, one that may be necessary for this team to succeed.

“I think he has improved his outside shot,” Drew said. “I think he has to be a little bit more selective with his outside shot. He has certainly improved his low post game. I still think he can be even better. I think he’s one of the best power forwards in our league in rebounding out of his space and getting the ball and initiating the break. I think he is one of the best defenders in our league because he can defend all five positions. I think he is one of the smartest basketball players that I’ve coached. This guy sees things before they even take place. He is a student of the game. He watches a lot of film. Does he have to be better in how to deal with the officials? Yes he does.

“I think his overall game, his overall approach, he has to improve in all those areas. I think he knows that.”

Smith said he continued his off-season training program, working out in California before joining teammates in Atlanta for informal workouts. However, he added a wrinkle this year. In a move that Smith said shows the seriousness of the task at hand, he worked with a strength and conditioning coach in Los Angeles. It was a first for him. He was on a weight-lifting regime aimed at keeping up his strength for an 82-game season.

Smith said he had a pretty good idea roster changes were on the way. Now, it’s time to put the new-look Hawks into action.

“I’m all for change,” Smith said. “I think with the unit we had for the last five years, we just felt ourselves stuck in one place. We couldn’t get out of it, like we were stuck in cement. If you are a new GM coming in and you see the history of what has been happening the last five years, you do applaud us but at the same time you have to wonder how long can this last? [Ferry] came in with the mindset of trying to do things the right way. … I have total faith in him that he is doing the right thing for this organization.”

- Chris Vivlamore

THE LATEST NEWS

* Five questions headed into training camp

* Next phase of the Ferry Project about to get underway

* Drew on rotation at point guard, center

* Initial training camp roster released

* Wanted: Two new starters

* Who is the on-court leader?

* Smith “unlikely” to re-sign during season

Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

45 comments Add your comment

Daniel

October 1st, 2012
6:43 pm

Would love for the Hawks and Josh to be on the same page with playing out this year without and extension and then resigning him and pair him with a superstar like Chris Paul in the offseason. One can hope can’t they?

Hawksrulesss

October 1st, 2012
6:49 pm

Yesssss. Let’s go,Hawks!

Pd

October 1st, 2012
6:52 pm

Good Stuff here

[...] You can call Josh Smith “mid-range shawty.”  “Shawt-range shawty” would probably be ideal, but look at the bright side, Hawks fans—at least he isn’t dubbing himself “downtown shawty!” [Source] [...]

KevinM

October 1st, 2012
6:52 pm

It’s nice that DF and LD are showing everyone how much trust they have in Josh’s game, but these kinds of comments tell me there will be a lot of the same game we’ve seen:
““I think he has improved his outside shot,” Drew said”.

Ferry doesn’t mind he and Al bringing the ball upcourt.
I’ve bought into what Danny is selling, but I sure would like to see those 2 items changed in how we play as a team.

If that doesn’t concern you, how about this from Sekou:
“Hawks talked all day about all of their speed, athleticism and shooters today and all I kept thinking was “Golden State Warriors East.”

So no need to guard LBJ and DWade……

Disgusted

October 1st, 2012
6:55 pm

I have always liked Josh Smith — whatever happens about his long term plans I will always root for him.

I hope he gets a ring someday — it is something that cannot happen here.

He deserves to work for people better than the ASG. Hope Josh gets to play for a real true NBA franchise.

swatguy

October 1st, 2012
6:56 pm

He sounds committed.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

October 1st, 2012
6:56 pm

Great. Our goal is to make the Playoffs this season. Another season where we don’t want to win a championship.

And did DeShawn Stevenson sign with us or not?

Disgusted

October 1st, 2012
6:57 pm

We will never land a Chris Paul type.

Its too good to wish for — the Hawks died when that ill advised Dominique trade was made for that hamburger Danny Manning. Not to mention that Manning never wanted to be here. HA!!!!

PR wise we have never recovered and never will

Disgusted

October 1st, 2012
6:59 pm

I trust Josh’s integrity that he will give it his all plus this yr — he knows that playing well can only do him good in the long run.

Josh is a better guy and devoted athlete than some give him credit for.

Shawty

October 1st, 2012
7:36 pm

Great work from the Maestro Super V!

Go Shawty!!! Go.

Shawty

October 1st, 2012
7:40 pm

“I still think he can be even better. I think he’s one of the best power forwards in our league in rebounding out of his space and getting the ball and initiating the break. I think he is one of the best defenders in our league because he can defend all five positions. I think he is one of the smartest basketball players that I’ve coached. This guy sees things before they even take place. He is a student of the game. He watches a lot of film. Does he have to be better in how to deal with the officials? Yes he does.”

We Know! Yes we already know….

Crickets….Crickets….crickets…crickets….

Hawkfan

October 1st, 2012
7:42 pm

Supersize that order, mutt

October 1st, 2012
8:20 pm

Chris, if you can continue to call Josh Smith “J -Smoove” you should change careers. Big time journalists have more class.

steve brown

October 1st, 2012
8:34 pm

If the honeymoon ends then what, he is a free agent, signs elsewhere ( someone help me with the sign and trade stuff) and are we left with just salary cap space?

rms

October 1st, 2012
8:36 pm

Why is Marvin Williams being mentioned as a important player missing from the team? He cant take anybody off the dribble. He rarely if ever show up for big time games, but in fairness he will occasionally hit a jumpshot if left open, he is at best average on defense, and just a total waste of space. Ferry knew that and everybody on this blog knows that! Good luck to him in Utah but he was basically stealing money the whole time here in Atlanta.

Rod from College Park

October 1st, 2012
9:06 pm

“Call me mid-range shawty.”

In true College Park fashion. LOL

Rod from College Park

October 1st, 2012
9:08 pm

“Why is Marvin Williams being mentioned as a important player missing from the team?”

That is a great question.

Chris Vivlamore

October 1st, 2012
9:17 pm

Supersize: I assure you of my journalistic integrity. Just trying to have a little fun on the blog with the nickname. Would you say the same to all the journalists who refer to Larry Jones as Chipper?

soullrenaissance

October 1st, 2012
9:34 pm

@ Chris V.
Good Point about Chipper…should shut up the critics for now.

Smoove’s new Adidas commercial about put the hopes of a city on his shoulders is intriguing, perhaps he is ready for his role as top Hawk. Maybe he will relish the opportunity to be the face of his hometown team.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 1st, 2012
9:38 pm

Good point. The last guy called him J-Smoove too. In a one paper town the tendency by most media, I think, is to kiss up to ballplayers. There is no other side or view point to counter. I just want the local media to hold the sports teams to a higher standard. A tough media, as Thomas Jefferson stated, keeps the people honest.

soullrenaissance

October 1st, 2012
10:00 pm

The media has never been tough on Chipper. He was a great player but they kiss up to him WAY too much. Hell, they have just failed to win the division again and Chipper has never been a Mr. October for us. Yet by all the love fest you would think he was a baseball equivalent to a Bill Russell – stop the presses. The only world series team he was on that won was lead by David Justice. Chipper Jones was the choker that let us down in 1996 and 1999 too laid back….Smoove better step it up and take it to the next level too.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 1st, 2012
10:06 pm

Agreed. Although I don’t totally agree with Chris in comparing “Chipper” and “J-Smoove ” nicknames, I get his sentiments. Tiger is called Tiger Chipper is called Chipper and Josh Smith is called, well……Josh Smith. I think he got the nickname from the local urban radio station host.

MaxxHawk

October 1st, 2012
10:30 pm

I’d rather call him, “Drive to the hoop Shawty”

Hawks fan

October 1st, 2012
11:20 pm

Watch how Smoove will be this year! You cant tell me this guy does not want a “franchise” to call his own! This is setting up for a Big payday for Josh but also the opportunity to be “the man” in his hometown. Dont believe the hupe a out Josh being moved people and let me tell you why:
1. He is married…..community guy.
2. He does not get in trouble
3. He has gotten better every year and will continue to do so
4. He is 26
5. He actually wants to be here
6. The Hawks want him here
7. Ferry is not stupid!
8. Drew is not stupid …..but the writing is on the wall for him he wont be back….but he is a good Coach
9. He is top 3 at his position….which is so versatile from small, to power, to small to power.
10. You dont trade talent like that…unless you get equal back and once again Folks Ferry not stupid! He came here to win so you better get in board now.! The wagon will fill quickly

Hawks fan

October 1st, 2012
11:21 pm

ignition

October 1st, 2012
11:45 pm

Enter your comments here

ignition

October 1st, 2012
11:46 pm

Josh ‘Mid Range Shawty’ Smith…
But didn’t they have shooters last year…

Supersize that order, mutt

October 1st, 2012
11:52 pm

Hawks Fan…….that kind of logic is why the Hawks have been mediocre the past 20 years. Stop giving excuses and START demanding results.

ignition

October 1st, 2012
11:57 pm

I concur MaxxHawk

Ra'mon

October 2nd, 2012
12:24 am

Ignition, the Hawks didn’t have nearly as many shooters last season as this season. Aside from Joe and Vlad, the Hawks had no consistent shooters. This season they have Korver, Morrow, Jenkins, and Harris is a better shooter than Green or Pargo. Also Tolliver is just as good of a shooter as Marvin.

Grandad

October 2nd, 2012
3:06 am

I agree about Chipper being over-rated;
based on the logic of he was “not Mr October”.
That same logic would be applied to Hank Aaron
who never showed up during October in Atlanta !
Greg Maddux was a horrible pitcher due to his October failings.

The Geatest Falcon of them all;
never won a Super Bowl.

Now David Justice and Mike Vick;
there are two 1st ballot Hall 0` Famers right there !

Whoops ……. Vick ain`t never won a super bowl ……. oh.

By the way:
I just looked it up and – “Ryan Klesko”
was the best hitter on that `95 WS team [Braves].
M.Grissom had 9 hits but only scored 3 runs.
Klesko had 3 “mammos” while Justice had the one.

I reckon RK is the real Mr Oct in Atl.
Also Glav was the pitching star.
____________________________________________

editors note:
I was being facetious about Larry Jones being over-rated.
He is certainly in the discussion for top three 3rd baseman of all-time.
____________________________________________

further noting:
some of my other malarky was my satiric way of
invoking socratic irony into the moronic discussion above.

Grandad

October 2nd, 2012
3:08 am

Oh Yes, I forgot, the above post was for – “soullrenaissance”

Najeh Davenpoop

October 2nd, 2012
4:51 am

“A tough media, as Thomas Jefferson stated, keeps the people honest.”

I’m sure Thomas Jefferson’s primary concern was making sure that his local sports teams felt the pressure to win.

Nothing wrong with nicknames as long as the facts are reported, as far as I’m concerned. A nickname doesn’t imply “kissing up”. MC generally erred on the side of pessimism while covering the Hawks despite using nicknames in every blog post.

Najeh Davenpoop

October 2nd, 2012
4:53 am

“Chipper Jones was the choker that let us down in 1996″

Baseball is an individual game masquerading as a team game. One player can’t win you a title in baseball like they can in basketball and (to a lesser extent) football. And anyway, if any “choker” let the Braves down in ‘96, it was Mark Wohlers.

Najeh Davenpoop

October 2nd, 2012
4:54 am

And speaking of MC, since he is still apparently on the AJC payroll, does he have a separate Twitter somewhere?

falCans

October 2nd, 2012
5:07 am

Funny how everyone loves Smoove now lol while a few of us argued tooth and nail.to get you all to suplort the hometown kid

JROLL1

October 2nd, 2012
8:55 am

Larry Drew needs to go! JSmoove one of the smartest players he’s coached! You got to be kidding! One of the “lowest” basketball I.Q’s I have ever seen! Every time Josh “leads” the break it is a turnover waiting to happen…that is NOT SMART AT ALL Larry! We won’t even go into all the uncontested 3’s Josh takes! Josh, there is a reason they leave you open! With that said, I hope Josh has an All-Star Season.

Sam

October 2nd, 2012
8:59 am

You don’t really have to let us know every blog that you are the one reporting, Mr. Vivlamore. We read the article knowing you are the new Hawks blogger.

Give us a little credit…not much, but at least a little.

Josh Smith ne pense qu'au playoffs

October 2nd, 2012
2:45 pm

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