If Greece is the word, what does that say about Childress?

Here's Josh Childress going against some guy in Greece I'm sure you've never heard of.

Here's Josh Childress going against some guy you've never heard of.

Josh Childress told our Sekou Smith that he is going back to Greece for another season. Why? Because, “I still have l some unfinished business to tend to.”

Granted, I’m not an expert on Greece basketball. But I’m pretty sure this is the first time anybody has ever said they had unfinished business with Olympiakos.

It’s clear Childress doesn’t want to play for the Hawks anymore. Now I’m starting to wonder how much he even cares about playing in the NBA.

Look, I have nothing against the man making money. Childress signed a sweet deal last year with Olympiakos: $20 million over three seasons. He could play a short season, live like royalty and be a centerpiece — none of which was the case with the Hawks. So even if his decision to go to Greece was partly fueled by emotion and ego — and it was — it was not the wrong decision.

But staying there a second year?

Childress had a chance to exercise an out-clause in his contract. He didn’t do it. There’s only three possible reasons: 1) The money he could’ve made in the NBA next season wasn’t nearly to his liking; 2) Hawks general manager Rick Sund didn’t like the sign-and-trade offers he received from other teams; 3) Both.

(I phoned Sund this morning. He said he had “no comment at this time,” on Childress’s decision and hadn’t heard anything official.)

The economic downtown has had a significant effect in the NBA. Teams are getting tougher about sticking to payroll budgets. Owners are telling general managers to stay near or below the salary cap, in hopes of paying little or no luxury tax. Because of that, Childress was likely to make less money returning to the league this year than he would’ve made a year ago. That also could have had a ripple effect on the trade market for the Hawks with Childress. In fact, it probably did.

I get all that.

But at some point, passion and desire to compete against the best should take over with a pro athlete. In a Childress’s case, that means playing games against the Lakers, Celtics and Cavaliers — not Panathinaikos, Panellinios and Panionios.

If the economy improves, there could be an increased trade and salary market for Childress next season. Or, maybe he’ll change his mind about playing for the Hawks.

But after two seasons in Greece, teams should start to wonder about his motivation.

45 comments Add your comment


July 14th, 2009
10:57 am

Jeff – Why don’t you ask Sund why they keep drafting Euro players in the 2nd round and never offer them enough money to actually play for the Hawks. They did it again in this year’s draft, have rights to several Euro players, and by all accounts have an accomplished big (Andersen) who really wants to play in the NBA, unlike Josh. Yet the Hawks apparently did not offer him squat, which we can only infer from translated articles as the AJC has not chosen to focus on this story, or ask Sund why they wasted another 2nd round pick this year on Euro players when the ones they already had apparently are not good enough to pay for.
While this offseason is not overy, Sund has not appeared to show any recognition that the Hawks stable of defensive bigs is way undermanned to compete with Orlando, LA, Cleveland, or Boston, yet he has done nothing to rectify this. Is 4-6th place and a playoff appearance enough to satisfy this GM? Where’s the Beef?


July 14th, 2009
11:02 am

not over (proof-read, jeesh)

And I know he resigned ZaZa but his and Horf’s 6 fouls were not nearly enough to compensate for the lack of point of attack defense from Bibby.

Jeff Schultz

July 14th, 2009
11:03 am

Mountain Jim — I haven’t asked Sund about that, but I can tell you the obvious: Second round draft picks generally don’t amount to much in NBA (this isn’t the NFL) and you’re better off filling out your bench with veteran street free agents; 2) The kid in Europe is young and the Hawks retain his rights while he develops over there (potentially). Obviously there was nobody else on the board they cared about taking, and preferred to fill out their roster elsewhere. Make sense?

Peachtree John

July 14th, 2009
11:15 am

The Hawks are an exercise in frustration. Yes, the signings to date are good for continuity within the team. But where is the big man? We have a power forward playing center and that won’t produce wins in the playoffs. Z is a good backup, a real good backup, but we still need that 7+ footer that starts and produces.
A tip of the hat to Chil for taking the money. His talent level is not up to par with the greats of the NBA. He is smart to stay in Greece and take the money.
The Hawks will never go deep into the playoffs with the current crew. If making the playoffs is sufficient for ownership, then they are a success. At least one can argue that progress has been made.
Yes, a nice group of players, but no championships.

Hawk n the Ham

July 14th, 2009
11:19 am

Childress has to wear more sponser logos on his Uni than a Nascar driver. The Greeko Afro and his ego.

El Bravo

July 14th, 2009
11:20 am

Jeff, big fan of your writing but you are way off on this one. It’s totally asinine to question Josh’s desire to play at the highest level when he is getting significantly more money in Greece. He demonstrated, during his years with the Hawks, that he could play in the NBA. Most kids that make it to the NBA would have a hell of a time adjusting to living and playing in Greece. That alone says a lot about Josh’s maturity and intelligence. This is just a situation were both parties, The Hawks by not giving him a crazy contract to be the first man of the bench and Josh by taking the money from Olimpiakos, are doing the right thing. I can’t stand it when people begrudge athletes for maximizing their income when that is exactly what everyone else would do…

Hawk n the Ham

July 14th, 2009
11:25 am

“I don’t always bash old Hawk players. But when I do, I prefer Josh Childress. Stay thirsty my friends.”

– The most interesting blogger in the world

Notty Dred

July 14th, 2009
11:30 am

We should have known, as real Hawks fans, Childress was going to leave upon his free-agency. I doesn’t matter now. He’s been replaced. I wouldn’t mind if we (the Hawks) just release his contractual rights and keep that money under the cap. Childress was good for us and now we can let him go his own way. We need a big man or two. It looks as if Al is going to play the 5 again which is a mistake. Though one of the Hawks owners told me personally to be patient a move will be made soon. Stay tuned….

Checkout the 2 Live Stews M-F 1p-4p

listen on 790am, sirius 127, or http://www.2livestews.com


July 14th, 2009
11:35 am

Jeff I understood that but my main point is they drafted another while they (apparently) refuse to pay the one Euro whose rights they own who is ready to play now in the NBA, and who could really help add offense from the 4/5.
What was the supposed offer to Andersen? What is Sund’s evaluation of his readyness for the NBA? I am suggesting this as a future column idea, as it has not been reported on in any detail yet.


July 14th, 2009
11:38 am

I hope Mr. Childress enjoys Greece. Obviously, money is his only motivation in life right now. That’s fine. We can do without him. Fans should only want dedicated players. That’s the only way you can win.

Reid Adair

July 14th, 2009
11:41 am

Which is it … “unfinished business to tend to” or maximizing his bank deposits, as folks here claim he is doing and should do?

If Childress is worried about the money (as folks here claim), then say that. Don’t try to convince us it’s about the competition and helping the team. The competition there vs. the competition in the NBA is the proverbial apples and oranges.

Matty Ice

July 14th, 2009
11:54 am

Mountain Jim and Jeff Schultz,

Maybe I missed it but has it already been determined that the Euro-BIG – David Andersen will not play with the Hawks this year? It sounds like Mountain Jim is saying as much but I have not read in AJC from Sekou or elsewhere that this is the case. Please advise.


July 14th, 2009
11:54 am

Childress not returning is not a big deal. Assuming the Hawks resign MWilliams, Evans also proved he is more than capable of filling the 2/3 back-up role. Granted, he can’t drive and penetrate like Childress, but Evans is a much better outside shooter, and he can also defend and rebound.

Obviously, the Hawks still need another big man, especially considering yesterday’s articles regarding David Anderson (I speak Spanish, and clearly he declined as he expected a better offer).

Jeff Schultz

July 14th, 2009
12:10 pm

PEACHTREE: I agree with you on the center thing and Al being better as a PF. But as stated previously, there’s just not a lot of centers out there. This isn’t the 70s or 80s when they were everywhere (or it seemed like it).

EL BRAVO: I never said he wasn’t a good NBA player. That’s obvious. And if he wants to make that decision based solely on money, fine. But just don’t tell me this is about competition.

REID: Maybe the unfinished business is financial? I mean, that is business.

MATTY: I don’t know that anything’s been finalized but I think the team you’re looking at is pretty much it.

HAWKFAN: I agree it’s not a big deal related to Hawks this year. Actually, this could work in their favor next year when a trade might be more doable.

Beautiful Monte

July 14th, 2009
12:14 pm

I have a few questions for the fans who criticize Sund and the Hawks for not getting a “big”:

Which “big” do you want him to get? I mean, it’s not like Sund can just run down to Wal-Mart and buy some paper towels, a bag of charcoal, and a seven-footer who can rebound, play defense, run the floor, and score 15 ppg.

So, where is the “big” that you people want? And, if said “big” is a quality player, how many current Hawks are you willing to give up in order to acquire his services? Since quality “bigs” are few and far between, you must acknowledge that a team that parts with such a “big” will want something of equal or greater value in return.


July 14th, 2009
12:15 pm

Childress clearly said in his Sekou interview why he’s going back… Dang!!! MTNJ, they draft them so they hold their rights and not have to pay them anything… Go to Sekou’s Blog and ask Niremetal about why teams draft overseas players and how it does not go against the cap…

Once again, the percentage of 2nd round players in the league is not 35% as it has been portrayed here… Gosh, go look at the post 2000 draft numbers…


July 14th, 2009
12:21 pm

Beautifuly Monte, all I can say is: Nail. On. Head. Well done!

nunna yo bizznezz

July 14th, 2009
12:24 pm

notty dred,
one of the owners??
he may be in the minority,lol..
because u never know with these guys..

i think something will eventually happen,as far as the option on childress,but,we knew that. if horford is forced to play out of position again this year then there will be another excuse for woody to use when the season is over and the hawks look forward on moving on without woody..

bring in ratliff if he is still out there to back up zsa zsa,bring in marvin to play behind j-smoove and othello hunter in behind al as he is moved back to power forward..othello is ready!!

now do i think that zsa zsa ia a bonafide starting nba center,heck naw!!
but,right now,there is no one out there who your gonna pay more to be your starting center over zsa zsa..

i love listening to the stews..especially after they got one of the top nfl inside men in lloyd vance to come on their show after he was a regular on “making your point sports talk show” on the sports journey network..

making your point sports talk show..
weds. 6-8pm starting july 29th,with sat.shows from 1-2pm..


July 14th, 2009
12:30 pm

Monte – Andersen for one – no trade required, rights already owened. Relatively cheap FAs such as Wilcox… I have seen several listed in Sekou’s blogs by commenters. Not looking for a starter, just more size and fouls and potential blocks to compete with Orlando, etc.

eastbound and down

July 14th, 2009
12:30 pm

Jerky Schultz,
this is another wonderful piece of journalistic artistry. actually, just some hack who thinks he knows what someone else should do with his life, when the course that individual has taken is paying him incredibly well and he is still keeping his options open. What motivates you, JS? Striving to win a Pulitzer? Competing against the best in the business? or have you realized you have no talent and are satisfied posting blogs on the ajc website?


July 14th, 2009
12:36 pm

I agree with Mountain Jim. I’m about ready for some details on Andersen’s NBA readiness and what it would take to get him here. Or, if the Hawks really want him. Do they think Solo is better?


July 14th, 2009
12:37 pm

Come on, can we at least credit Childress for being smart enough to take the money in Greece instead of rushing back to the NBA to play in a less-than-ideal situation? Yes, it’s your, mine and every other short white guy’s ultimate dream to play in the NBA, but it might not be his. Getting $20 million to hang out in Europe instead of grinding it out in a place like Charlotte is not a bad lifestyle choice at all.

Toopak elliot

July 14th, 2009
12:37 pm

Let him stay overseas! He is simply not tough enough to play in NBA of USA. Let him stay there with the substandard league. His ego is bursting out of his head…whoops…sorry that is his EGRO! Ya get it Ego + Afro = Egro…..ha ha, thats funny….


July 14th, 2009
12:43 pm

The question is why haven’t the Hawks used the D-League for what it is for? Development!!!


July 14th, 2009
12:43 pm

At least Woody played Solo a little….would have to be someone Woody would actually use in the game…

Johnny DangerDawg

July 14th, 2009
12:50 pm

I agree with you that Childress is staying in Greece for the reasons you mentioned. However, I would like to point out that playing in Greece has more advantages than just money. I know lots of people who would love to move to Greece for a couple years just for the fun experience of living in another country. Add in the fact that he is a huge star there. From the few Greeks I’ve met, it seems that Childress must be playing in front of very passionate crowds of Greeks who are CRAZY about basketball. The competition level may not be as tough as the NBA, but he ain’t exactly playing against 5ft 6in weaklings. He’s not going out there making 50 points and 20 rebounds every night. He’s still challenged.


July 14th, 2009
12:50 pm

here is my 2009/2010 hawks roster.

Guards: Bibby, J. Crawford, Teague, J. Johnson,West
Fowards: M.Williams,Evans,Smoove,Gardner,Gooden or Wilcox or any of the above mentioned
Center: Horford?(really a PF), ZaZa, Siler

That is 13 leaving two open roster spots to fill if someone gets injuried.

Whats your roster look like?

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July 14th, 2009
12:54 pm

i guess you just can’t make some people happy … Hawks do everything right this offseason, and there are still comments about how they need a big man or how they won’t advance past the second round … what would you guys be saying if we didn’t resign zaza/bibby, pick-up crawford? agh, i’m over it!



July 14th, 2009
12:54 pm

it would be nice to hear something on Anderson though, and get him locked in


July 14th, 2009
1:10 pm


I am glad the hawks resigned both ZaZa and Bibby. I am also hoping they get Marvin Williams back. but I still think they need to get more big men….. who do they have to back up Josh Smith right now….. noone thats who. And we still need a big that is a rebounding specialist other than ZaZa… we need two or even three of those.

my roster would look like this

Bibby, Crawford, Teague
JJ, Crawford, West
M. Williams, Evans, Gardner
Smoove, Gooden
Horford, ZaZa, Gooden, Siler

that is only 13 players that is not asking to much….. is it?


July 14th, 2009
1:24 pm

Ego! Josh and ego don’t even fit. This is the same guy all you hawks fans loved because of his smarts, hard work, college background etc. So because he doesn’t come back and play for your hawks or any other nba team now he’s got ego. You hawks fans are funny. Lets see, say a greek newspaper wants to double Mr. Schultz’s money or triple it to come over there and write for them for 3 years would he go or stay here to win local newspaper writer awards. I wonder.


July 14th, 2009
1:39 pm

The problem is REBOUNDING people! No NBA team shoots a high percentage, the ones who rebound get more shots and they WIN! Other than Horford, not one of our forwards knows how to box out and go to the ball so the bigger and bulkier guy usually gets the rebound! When we outshoot other teams we win but most nights it is a grind because of our rebound deficit! Defense and rebounding wins championships, when the Bulls figured it out in the playoffs last season they looked like a contender after trying to outshoot teams and losing all season long! When Horford was hurt our rebounding went downhill and we were at Cleveland’s mercy as our shooters knew they had to make the shot because Josh was cruising on the perimeter and Zaza was being screened off the boards. A trade of Josh Smith for Chris Bosh would bring a title contender to Atlanta and allow us to have some inside and mid range scoring. We would still need a banger to give some fouls as Zaza only has 6 to give but our attack would balance out and create space for our shooters!


July 14th, 2009
1:52 pm

Dave, I agreed with you until you went off into the fantasy world… Once and for all,the Raptors are not going to trade Chris Bosh!!! The reason why Sam Mitchell was canned was to emphasis that point… O’Neal was sent South to reinforce that it is his team… Go read the Toronto Sun, he is the face of the team… They made the mistake of imploding a team once before and the fans made them pay… The new European GM is not stupid; he’s building toward resigning Bosh and pushing to get into the the Eastern race.. Ask the Kings what imploding your team gets you?


July 14th, 2009
2:01 pm

Tasos Kapsalis

July 14th, 2009
2:07 pm

Being Greek and a fan of Olympiakos,

the main reason he will stay a second year is because they didn’t win a title this year. The unfinished business he is talking about means winning a title. He went there to Greece, got a lot of money, was loved by all, and he got injured and didn’t help the team win a championship.


July 14th, 2009
2:24 pm

I am glad Chills is still in the fold. For the nay sayers, I am sure he would have stayed for 7 mil. We should have found a way to give him a decent offer. He is every bit as good as Marvin and better than Crawford who will make at least that or more. Do you remember 2 years ago? Who was on the court at the end of games. Yep Chills, not Marvin. No player on the Hawks comes close in shooting percentage except the bigs. He is a smart unselfish player and no one could complain about his hustle. He could also run and finish well around the bucket. Next year we will go through the same process. Lets hope we will have the money to give him a 7 mil offer. If so I bet he would sign.


July 14th, 2009
2:32 pm


What I dont understand, is why Chills didnt take a 1 year QO from the Hawks, become unrestricted at the end of the season, and then sign wherever he wants..W

As far as the Hawks being done, I hope they bring in at least one veteran big man to play backup PF). Either a Chris Wilcox or Drew Gooden, Joe Smith etc…And those guys should come cheap.


July 14th, 2009
3:55 pm

Garret Siller Summer League

rebounds points time
Game 1 7 6 24:29
Game 2 7 6 13:04

that is solid as your 3rd center plus a big body

Spud Webb

July 14th, 2009
4:10 pm

What it means is Childress sucks, stay in Greece, collect your money. You’re a bit player Josh, play your bit in Greece.

[...] more from the original source: If Greece is the word, what does that say about Childress? | Jeff … Tags: a-place-like, charlotte, Lifestyle [...]


July 14th, 2009
6:00 pm

$20M/3yrs = $6.67M per vs. $5.8M per = 4uck you.


July 14th, 2009
9:16 pm

Good riddance to this egomaniac. He figure he show some pride as Zaza did in want to stick around and finish what they started. Chill is a tool and a fool.

Ted Striker

July 15th, 2009
4:36 am

Competition, competition, competiton. Dude, have you seen some of the women in Greece? Sure there are some hotties among the NBA groupie-chicks here, but darned if they compare to the fillet mignon on the shores of the Aegean.

joe beanie

July 15th, 2009
2:25 pm

Plain and simple – the competition is just as good, if not better. He is not giving up anything, competitively, by being over there.

Olympiakos would beat the Hawks. Straight up.

Sean McC

July 16th, 2009
2:06 am

So, Jeffy, you’re “pretty sure this is the first time anybody has ever said they had unfinished business with Olympiakos”.. How about Koach K. and LeBron and Shane and Carmelo and the US national team who were clinically demolished in the 2006 World Cup semi-final by a Greek national team basically made up of players from Olympiacos and Panathinaikos and other teams you never heard of? That US national team had enough “unifished business” with them that they had to work hard another two years to beat these Olympiacos and Panathinaikos players at the Beijing Olympics. Your clueless comment is like saying that you’re “pretty sure it is the first time anybody has ever said they had unfinished business with Duke or UNC or Kentucky or Louisville.” Not being an NBA team doesn’t mean that you don’t enjoy a long tradition, inspire loyal fans, or aren’t engaged in mythical rivalries. But like you said: you’re ” not an expert in Greece basketball”. (Actually, in English, it’s Greek basekball. But like you said…)