Atlanta Hawks: Drew another entering free-agent year

Vivlamore reporting before the second day of Hawks training camp practice.

Larry Drew is another of the Hawks entering his free-agent year.

The head coach embarks on the final of the three-year deal he signed in 2010 to take over the franchise, which included the option the team picked up this summer for the upcoming season.

Hawks coach Larry Drew gets a fist bump of Josh Smith during the team's media day Monday. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Hawks coach Larry Drew gets a fist bump from Josh Smith during the team's media day Monday. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

New general manager Danny Ferry agreed with the decision to pick up Drew’s option and the two will wait until after the season to discuss the coach’s future.

“My focus is to go out and coach as well as I can,” Drew told the AJC. “I don’t want to concern myself. I had a conversation with my representative back in the early part of the summer and let it be known that I think the last couple of years speak for themselves as far as my ability as a head coach in this league. Things that I can’t control I’ve made my mind up long before that I can’t concern myself with. I enjoy doing what I’m doing. I enjoy the players. I enjoy the camaraderie. I enjoy the challenges. With the situation being what it is, I’ve already made my mind up. My focus is to go out and coach this team to the best of my ability and we’ll see where things fall.”

Drew took over for  Mike Woodson after serving as an assistant coach with the Hawks since 2004. He has led the team to an 84-64 regular-season record (.568) and two playoff berths, continuing the franchise’s run of five straight postseason appearances.

The Hawks were eliminated in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs by the Celtics last season. The Hawks defeated the Magic and then lost to the Bulls in the second round in 2011. In the two seasons, the team’s playoff record is 8-10.

Ferry and Drew have spent the summer getting acquainted as their NBA paths have not previously crossed.

“We have had a productive and positive relationship so far and I respect his preparation and approach to camp and this season,” Ferry said.

Drew has a revamped roster as he enters his third season. Just five players remain from last season’s squad. While the Hawks will be smaller, they will be a faster team with a depth of perimeter shooters. Drew has said the new roster has necessitated him reworking his offense to fit the current players.

“I’m excited about the opportunities here,” Drew said. “I’m excited about Danny coming here. I think he and I have had a very interesting summer in getting to know one another. We’ve shared ideas. We’ve shared philosophies. Certainly, I can tell that he really wants to put me in a situation that is favorable. But when it is all said and done, my job is to coach this team. I have a year left on my contract and my job is to coach this team and put us in the best position to win as I possibly can, to make sure that every night we step on that floor we are competitive. If I’ve done that, I feel good about my situation.”

- Chris Vivlamore

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* Next phase of the Ferry Project about to get underway

Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

53 comments Add your comment

Fact Check

October 3rd, 2012
2:22 pm

Career

Al horford 12pts 9rbs
Al Jefferson 16pts 8 rbs

Astro Joe

October 3rd, 2012
2:30 pm

Playoff games played and FGAs?

Buddy Grizzard

October 3rd, 2012
2:32 pm

“I think the last couple of years speak for themselves as far as my ability as a head coach in this league.”

Vava beat me to this. Yes, LD, playing Josh Powell and Jason Collins ahead of Zaza in the 2011 playoffs and playing Willie Green and Jannero Pargo ahead of Kirk Hinrich in the 2012 speaks for itself.