Ferry made pitch for Dwight Howard but was stopped short

Your Hawks fantasy for a day: Danny Ferry hands LeBron James a jersey (Hawks, not USA). (Getty Images)

Your Hawks fantasy for a day: Danny Ferry hands LeBron James a jersey -- Hawks, not USA. (Getty Images)

Area codes may help. Pacific breezes and Hollywood on the West Coast, and South Beach and night life on the East may have served as advantages for the Los Angeles Lakers in their ability to land Dwight Howard and the Miami Heat in luring LeBron James.

But that’s really not what this is all about.

If Los Angeles, Miami and Boston always seem to land the best players, it’s not because of the scenery or the local cuisine or the proximity to Universal Studios. It’s because of what those franchises stand for. They chase titles. They don’t act satisfied when the team wins a playoff series. They don’t limit themselves to “safe” moves in the offseason to fill out the bench. They have a vision.

They don’t give elite-level contracts to players who couldn’t spell elite if you spotted them the e-l-i-t. (Joe: Brooklyn is that way.)

“History and tradition,” Hawks general manager Danny Ferry said when asked why the best players like Howard always seem to end up with the Lakers. “They’ve done a great job capitalizing on their tradition and what they’ve built there.”

So where does that leave the Hawks, a franchise whose tradition is not, shall we say, a selling point?

“We’re in the process of working to build a better image, a better program,” Ferry said. “I’m confident players will want to come to Atlanta. This is a city where players like to play — because they like to live here. But we are going to make it a great place to play. The players will know that we’re going to invest in making it championship-caliber team, on and off the court.”

It’s a great speech. It’s something every Atlanta sports fan would love to wrap themselves around. But Ferry never got a chance to make his pitch to Howard.

He approached the Orlando Magic about a trade for Howard in early July but was turned down. He never had the opportunity to share his vision with Howard and try to convince him that the dysfunction that Howard (an Atlanta native) was familiar with was a thing of the past. It never even got as far as being in position to convince Howard to sign an extension.

“We had discussions with Orlando about Dwight Howard,” Ferry said. “They were apprehensive to trade him within the division.”

That may seem to hard to fathom. Logically, the Magic should’ve been more concerned about acquiring strong assets for Howard than him playing for another Southeast Division team. But given the dumpster full of unspectacular players, bad contracts and lottery-protected draft picks the Magic ended up with in the four-player trade, maybe it’s not so hard to believe.

If Ferry was willing to take a calculated risk, without blowing up the team’s roster to get Howard, good for him. It shows aggressiveness and creativity. We’ll see where that takes him, and them.

He is convinced it can be done here. He came from San Antonio, which is a far smaller market than this one. The new collective bargaining agreement also should – should – start to work against some of the high-profile teams’ signings and trades that we’ve seen around the league. Teams over the luxury-tax threshold must pay steeper penalties and will be far more limited in player movement. The sign-and-trade that enabled the Lakers to acquire Steve Nash this summer would not be available to them in 2013 because of their tax situation.

The excommunication of Joe Johnson and his contract gives the Hawks flexibility. Now it’s just a matter of Ferry convincing players other than end-of-the-road guys such as Jerry Stackhouse and Tracy McGrady that there’s a reason to come here. Stars always will have leverage and desires, Ferry said, “But they can’t control the teams. That’s where the CBA comes in.

“We can succeed. You can be a small-market team and succeed – and we’re not a small-market team.”

It’s not just about L.A. The Dodgers haven’t even been to a World Series since 1988. They own two titles in the past 46 years. The Kings took 44 years to win a Stanley Cup. I watched enough Rams playoffs losses in the Coliseum growing up there to know championships didn’t magically flow to there. And eventually the team left for … St. Louis?

Players want to win, and they are drawn to teams with a strong image and tradition. But the Hawks aren’t nearly there yet.

By Jeff Schultz


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107 comments Add your comment

Benjamin

August 10th, 2012
5:28 pm

I like Mr. Ferry and think his vision is correct, but at this point, talk is cheap. I’m looking forward to next offseason to see how things play out.

Benjamin

August 10th, 2012
5:28 pm

Also, I would say “first,” but I’m not sure Schultzie rewards such behavior…

Rick

August 10th, 2012
5:43 pm

Hmmmmmm. Magic got hosed and they brought that upon themselves! If you trqded him to the Lakers then you got what you deserved and I hope it takes another 10 years for them to be relevant! Those clowns learned nothing from letting Shaq walk to LA! I also think it is time for NBA players to think more like college kids ( crazy idea coming). How about wanting to go to a small market and making it relevant? Or a team like the Hawks and making them relevant? We see it all the time in College Basketball now! I know it might be the culture but hey how about helping change that culture? Novel idea?! Juat how many millions can one person spend after the big contract and shoe endorsement deal. Hey I would not mind one myself…..but the deal is you can get the same endorsements in small markets, probably more when fans see how much they appreciate and like you. Do something different superstars…..be a real super star!

bob

August 10th, 2012
5:45 pm

All of this is David Sterns Fault, he should have made a hard cap, with everyone spending the same…like the NFL….

Tom-Dawg

August 10th, 2012
5:45 pm

To hell with Howard. He’s more for himself than anything else. Lakers won’t win a championship with him, that’s Kobe’s team.

WeBurn

August 10th, 2012
5:48 pm

This is a super star league. I hope Ferry somehow pulls it off. Good effort trying to get Howard.

Jeff Schultz

August 10th, 2012
5:50 pm

Benjamin — 1) I like Ferry. 2) Yes, talk is cheap but I’d say trading Joe Johnson shows he’s not all talk; 3) Correct — not into that whole “first” thing.

jeffrey d

August 10th, 2012
5:57 pm

but at this point, talk is cheap

He’s been all talk? After getting rid of Joe’s contract he could run for mayor

GT Alum

August 10th, 2012
5:59 pm

Well, he can try selling him on it next offseason, unless LA signs him to an extension. But I’m glad ASG seems to be getting serious and have gone out and hired a man who seems to be serious about making this team a true contender.

The Flats Are where its At

August 10th, 2012
6:06 pm

Schultzie………u called Joe dumb(which he is)……are u sure u can handle the backlash?

Ward

August 10th, 2012
6:07 pm

Wow the venom from some because Ferry speaks on trying to build Atlanta into a winner… I think he has earned the benefit out the doubt from us all. I really think it will be next summer to see how good he will really be for this franchise. There will only be a couple of players on the books, so the Hawks will have a lot of flexibility. I would love to see the team not re-sign Smith and pair Hortford with a center like Bynum and have them concentrate on building out around a good front line… Imagine a team after next summer with Bynum, Hortford, ??? @ SF, Williams, and Paul…That’s pretty good…

Rob

August 10th, 2012
6:08 pm

So that means there’s a chance he’ll still go after Howard aggressively this offseason since it doesn’t sound like Howard specifically said no, but rather, the Magic who wanted to get him out of the East like the Lakers did with Bynum. I respect him for trying, the man’s showing ambition.

Dwight Howard

August 10th, 2012
6:15 pm

Ferry wanted me to play for Atlanta?! Me, the great Dwight Howard, play in Atlanta?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha; oh man,
Hee hee hee hee hee
That is really funny!

Jamaaliver

August 10th, 2012
6:16 pm

Just think, if Billy King hadn’t traded Brooklyn’s 1st round lottery pick for Gerald Wallace, Dwight would already be with the Nets.

wpl

August 10th, 2012
6:19 pm

You do not need several superstar players to win a nba championship, the piston won a title with 12 good basketball players a few years ago, the mavs won with one superstar at the time, dirk and 11 good players, the spurs won their last two titles with duncan and 11 good players. How Soon We Forget!!!!!!!!!!!

Jt

August 10th, 2012
6:26 pm

There was no chance Howard was coming to atl. He made that clear. He wants NY/LA level cities. Visibility. Huge coin. Tell you this too- there is no way in hell I would give up an Al Horford for the self-proclaimed superman. Not even a 2nd thought.

JSS

August 10th, 2012
6:29 pm

You need to put that last paragraph in BOLD print! Myths are hard to break!!!

GT Alum

August 10th, 2012
6:35 pm

wpl – I don’t know, Ginobli is pretty special, as is Kidd (although on the downside of his career). Also, just because it can be done that way doesn’t mean that method is nearly as likely to work.

Since we traded away ‘Nique, the Hawks haven’t even had the one superstar that Dallas and SA did, so we still needed to do something.

New Orleans 'Inhales'

August 10th, 2012
6:48 pm

Thinking a big reason why Dwight doesn’t want to play for the Hawks is he doesn’t want to play in his hometown. That would be even more pressure than playing in L.A.

wpl

August 10th, 2012
6:51 pm

The Spurs are amazing, they don’t chase after all these so-call superstar players, their believe’s are if we can draft good players in the 2nd rd and our top notch development staff develop them, then we can bring these players up from development, and still win 55-65 gms a year and championships, and by the way, never go over the salary cap. AMAZING!!!!!!

Brian

August 10th, 2012
7:08 pm

This franchise is just one great big massive failure….

We have heard all of this talk before, but it will be empty words just like before.

I don’t care that Danny Ferry was good at fetching coffee for Spurs management. He had nothing to do with their success.

Hugh Jass

August 10th, 2012
7:09 pm

The system is broken. This is why the NFL makes more money than the NBA, NHL, and MLB put together. Look it up. Parity and the chance to turn around in one year gets you more fans. The tail is wagging the dog in the NBA with spoiled, rich players dictating where the parity lies. What a joke. I am glad that the Hawks didn’t get Howard because they couldn’t afford powder to put on his bottom.

Brian

August 10th, 2012
7:11 pm

You do not need several superstar players to win a nba championship, the piston won a title with 12 good basketball players a few years ago, the mavs won with one superstar at the time, dirk and 11 good players, the spurs won their last two titles with duncan and 11 good players. How Soon We Forget!!!!!!!!!!!”

Don’t gvie me that garbage about Detroit one lucky championship in 2004. There are reasons why teams rarely win titles that way. They played the right team at the right time. Detroit’s playoff run up until that finals was nothing special. That didn’t even destroy the mediocre east teams that they played in the playoffs that season.

Hugh Jass

August 10th, 2012
7:11 pm

The real story behind the Spurs is that they won the draft lottery for Tim Duncan when they had very long odds to win. They couldn’t win it with David Robinson (one of my favorite players ever) and Dennis Rodman. It was the miracle bouncing of balls that landed then a once-in-a-lifetime player like Duncan that did it. I will give them kudos for shrewed draft moves after that pick.

GT Alum

August 10th, 2012
7:15 pm

wpl -

Of course, they’re able to do that because their previous superstar went down and they were bad enough to get in the lottery to draft their next superstar. Otherwise, that method probably doesn’t work so well.

Brian

August 10th, 2012
7:21 pm

” The tail is wagging the dog in the NBA with spoiled, rich players dictating where the parity lies. What a joke. I am glad that the Hawks didn’t get Howard because they couldn’t afford powder to put on his bottom.”

And now they’re stuck with 3rd raters like Lou Williams, Al Horford and Josh Smith.

In other words, garbage players.

one for all

August 10th, 2012
8:10 pm

GM Danny, Done great. Never stop. Prepare a plan and follow it. Step 1. Dominant Center, Step 2. Dominant Power Forward, Step 3. Special Small Forward. Step 4. Guards who can shoot the 3 very well. This way Hawks Offense will key on getting ball inside and easy kickout passes for good shots from guards and bigs positioned for rebounds. Hawks Defense clogs lane and charges expensive rent. Defensive Boards are ours. Just win Baby. Draft Mason Plumlee this year or dang well better make sure who you draft is better.

wpl

August 10th, 2012
8:21 pm

OKC they did not go out trying get superstar players to come to OKC, because they would have had zero luck with that, instead they drafted good players and developed them very well. My point is, there are more than one way put together a championship team.

To answer a question that the piston did not play anybody that yr 2004 title, well they played the best team in basketball at that time the 3 time world champ LAKERS. The piston had depth 12-14 good b-ball players all on the same sheet of music, NO SUPERSTARS, OR ” BIG THREES”

wpl

August 10th, 2012
8:29 pm

Al Hortford is 2 time all star center, Josh Smith is all star caliber player and the hawks best player, and really a freak of nature, rebounds, blocks, slam dunks, good passer, plays hard, and wants to win.

Paul in NH

August 10th, 2012
8:34 pm

“How about wanting to go to a small market and making it relevant? Or a team like the Hawks and making them relevant? We see it all the time in College Basketball now!”

In the last 15 years the NCAA champions were Florida (2x), Kansas, Carolina (2x), Duke(2x), UConn (2x), Kentucky (2x), Syracuse, Maryland and Michigan State. Not exactly a bunch of no-name little schools.

random

August 10th, 2012
8:40 pm

@brian
Good grief go do something with your life, all you ever say has to be something negative about the hawks. No one is asking you to come here to read and blog jeeees.

[...] best bit of Orlando’s inexplicable judgment yet: according to Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hawks may have been ruled out as a potential trade partner due to their position within the [...]

[...] best bit of Orlando’s inexplicable judgment yet: according to Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hawks may have been ruled out as a potential trade partner due to their position within the [...]

Dwight Howard

August 10th, 2012
10:03 pm

Love me now Atlanta?

Ted Striker

August 10th, 2012
10:08 pm

I’m okay not picking up Howard. And I’m okay with Ferry wanting to open talks to the possibilities. Sometimes all that glitters is not gold.

p.s. Send me a drink, I’m running low tonight.

Cowboy

August 10th, 2012
10:13 pm

Could the Lakers and Heat play right now — so we could call off the rest of the NBA season?? Good riddance…

tyger

August 10th, 2012
10:24 pm

Plan B..???????

If all the moving, shaking for Superboy…Now what?
Doubtful, Superboy sheds Hollywood for Crooklyn…
Just subterfuge to discard salary w/o waving white flag???
Sounds like ole’ ATL Spirit chicanery, than new Ferryland ride…

Superboy or not, Smoove or not, ATL had to dump JJ…
Ferry has one hand on GM of the Year Trophy already..
Spirit group et al couldnt fix their mouths to do it…
Not after all that ballyhoo with Belkin…

You cant make this up…
They cheated the car dealer….
Signed JJ for $120M….
Sued each other, their lawyers, two or three times…
Sold to the pizza man….who didnt have enough cheese…
Dumped JJ for Morrow, Petro…
And now declare its a new day in ATL???…

Sounds alot like the same ole same ole to me…

eSTawk

August 11th, 2012
12:25 am

Hey yo—Dwight and his crew ready for the LA scene baby—24/7 parties, tons of wild hot hollywood chicks at the top clubs, millions more in endorsement deals, movie/music superstars at courtside every night, invite only parties at rappers’ mansions after every game…. party down– it’s showtime!

RLJ

August 11th, 2012
1:11 am

I hate to disturb this basketball thread but when will we see the “Les Miles Loses Control of Team Discipline” column? Probably, never.

Ferry is a fine GM, but...

August 11th, 2012
1:20 am

It’s the NBA, who cares?

Brian

August 11th, 2012
2:45 am

It’s the NBA, who cares?”

Thank you. We’re very aware that many of the hicks down here only care about NASCAR and those never accomplishing anything Bulldogs.

Brian

August 11th, 2012
2:46 am

Most bulldog fans are southern white trash.

Brian

August 11th, 2012
4:22 am

“To answer a question that the piston did not play anybody that yr 2004 title, well they played the best team in basketball at that time the 3 time world champ LAKERS. The piston had depth 12-14 good b-ball players all on the same sheet of music, NO SUPERSTARS, OR ” BIG THREES”

That Detroit team was lucky enough to play a team with huge chemistry issues. Again, right team at the right time. Anyway, that team was BY FAR the minority in terms of teams winning the title without a superstar. The league is better now than it was in 2004 anyway. The league was a mess in 2004.

wpl

August 11th, 2012
6:02 am

Piston won championship 2004, beat world champs SUPERSTAR TEAM LAKERS. Piston won with 12-14 good b-ball players THEY BEAT THE BEST ON THE PLANET IN 2004!!!!!!!!

Brian

August 11th, 2012
6:20 am

Piston won championship 2004, beat world champs SUPERSTAR TEAM LAKERS. Piston won with 12-14 good b-ball players THEY BEAT THE BEST ON THE PLANET IN 2004!!!!!!!!”

What do you not understand? The 2004 Pistons and their one time deal is not the model for winning a championship. They struggled to get through a mediocre east and got the correct matchup that’s all. They were lucky. The NBA is rarely about luck.

Brian

August 11th, 2012
6:31 am

That was not a super team either. Payton and malone were past their primes.

KBP

August 11th, 2012
8:51 am

History and tradition, what? The Lakers and Celtics have history and tradition because of the players they have had, not because of the name of the franchise. The league is about the players. If LeBron, Wade and Bosh and the rest of the Heat became Hawks this past off season, then we would have won the championship even with no history and tradition. The same is true if those guys had gone to Minnesota. If Ferry gets enough upper echelon players, then we’ll become an upper echelon team. Enough of this history and tradition as if the name of the franchise is primarily why teams win. What about the many, many years the Lakers and Celtics were out of the playoffs? The game is about the PLAYERS!

Thrashniac

August 11th, 2012
8:58 am

“We’re in the process of working to build a better image, a better program,” Ferry said. “I’m confident players will want to come to Atlanta. ”

I’ll take Mr. Ferry at his word on this, although many cliches come to mind (like, I’
m from Missouri)- however I would point him to his ownership groups recent attempts to unload even their beloved basketball team, which they profess total devotion to, and unless he wants to have nightmares, don’t even think about looking at what they did to the franchise they hated.

Mr. Ferry’s heart may be willing, but unless he can change the poisoned atmosphere his ownership groups exudes…………………………..

PMC

August 11th, 2012
9:46 am

The teams without history and tradition should just fold up shop. It’s not worth the money they charge to go see non superstars fumble their way through the season.

PMC

August 11th, 2012
9:48 am

If you don’t have a superstar in this city, and or multiple stars that are “interesting” and “exciting”

YOU ARE A SMALL MARKET TEAM.

This is not Atlanta news, time for next blog Jeff

August 11th, 2012
11:29 am

Just make sure his spanktervision and a/c works in his hotel room or he might go ballistic on twitter like Chipper.

Howard? who cares

August 11th, 2012
11:31 am

If you want to write fantasy articles all year, start writing about the many championships of all the Atlanta teams.
Get back to writing about what is relevant here.

D-Man

August 11th, 2012
1:54 pm

I too like Ferry and if he at least TRIED to get at Howard, then he still continues to make me believe he at least has a vision and is trying to make it happen which is something I’ve NEVERRRRRRR felt about any other GM we’ve had. Having said that, it doesn’t end with Howard nor does it begin with him. I’m not going to sit here and lie and say I wouldn’t have wanted Howard in a Hawk’s uni, but I’m not crying a river about it either. Howard has become a phony and a complete ham in my eyes with the way he flip-flopped on the Magic. He only cares (and what professional athlete doesn’t I know) about himself. and I just don’t to particularly like how he left his teammates dangling in the wind down in Orlando. They all wanted to win too. They all put their azzes on the line in practice and on the court giving it their all to win also. Most of them probably went there because they believed they could win it all with him. They have families they moved too to get with him and he just pump faked them all. At least some athletes pretend to care about more themselves which makes it easier to not think about their selfishness, but not Howard. He went OUT OF HIS WAY to diva his way to what he wanted and I think Atlanta is better off without him in the long run cause you just never know what he says or pretends to be about is true. He put Orlando in a bad position, acted like a *itch and as far as I’m concerned what he did and how he went about it is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy worse than what LeBron is hated on so much for. At least when LeBron was in Cleveland he at least came off like he tried his hardest when he was there, he just messed up on the exit strategy. “Dwight-mare” messed up far worse and I have a feeling karma is going to catch up with him.

GO HAWKS!! (and keep up the good work Danny Ferry!)

Aardvark Base

August 11th, 2012
2:06 pm

Regarding your column, Jeff– I agree that in a league where players hold so much control due to the small size of teams (only 5 guys on the court, so one player makes a big difference), there is a tendency for them to want to play for winners. The salary cap also influences that since they’ll often get virtually the same money from any team they sign with, especially max deals. However, here’s where i disagree– sure DHoward wanted to go to LA, which is a winning franchise. But he also wanted to go to the Nets. Loserville. And how come you don’t ever hear of players clamoring to play in San Antonio? And if they want to play for teams that are “building” a championship team (like Miami), then why don’t they want to go play in Chicago or Oklahoma City?

lewisbuzzard

August 11th, 2012
2:28 pm

Who cares, I can’t stand his loud mouth showboating anyways. He will be a great fit for LA LA land. Maybe there is still a Kardasian available for him.

heartofdarkness

August 11th, 2012
2:51 pm

When you see professionals like Battier, Haslem and Anthony coming to Atlanta while still in their prime, filling the need for solid, smart play during tight games, you will know the team is ready to compete for the big prize. Ferry’s moves should be evaluated from the perspective of a five year plan, since their are so few impact players coming into the league each year and much of the player movement between teams is due to bad contracts and bad attitudes.

indigo

August 11th, 2012
2:54 pm

Basketball players come and go but it appears that sports columnists stay forever. At least mediocre sports columnists like Bradley and Schultz. At least that’s what I think when I read a column where these folks play General Manager, say bad things about players or coaches and throw in gratuitous mean-spirited comments like “They don’t give elite-level contracts to players who couldn’t spell elite if you spotted them the e-l-i-t. (Joe: Brooklyn is that way.)” Bradley would be proud of that comment. (Question: what did Schultz say when the Hawks got Johnson?)

Skeezix

August 11th, 2012
3:44 pm

Dwight Howard is way overrated in my humble opinion and is about Dwight first -thus isn’t always a team player.
As long as Ferry follows the San Antonio model for building a program the Hawks will be okay–it may take some time though as it won’t happen overnight..

fuchim

August 11th, 2012
3:44 pm

Any Real Man, who is from Southwest Atlanta, would’ve wanted to come home and be the main piece of building a championship team. Dwight “Beetlejuice” howard You are no longer welcome in this great city. Sucka!

RA

August 11th, 2012
4:00 pm

Okay Schultz, if you’re going to continue to lament players that Atlanta didn’t get this offseason, PLEASE find someone else to lament over. First off, Dwight Howard was never coming her under any circumstances. Secondly, and here’s the important part, he did us a favor. To get Dwight Howard, Atlanta would have had to give up at least Al Horford, and then face a Danny Manning situation at the end of the season when Dwight left. Then you and Bradley would have griped to no end about what dumb trade it was. As for Joe Johnson, he was never worth all the money the Hawks paid him, but what he was was the best player that the Hawks had for most of his time here. And if the Hawks hadn’t kept him, how big of a clamor would you and bradley have made about the fact that the Hawks couldn’t keep their best player. Bottomline, to keep what little credibility they had in the league, they had to keep Joe, and for the record, I think he could spell elite if you spotted him a few letters. Most analysts worth their salt would acknowledge that he’s one of the five best two’s in the east. Just sayin.

moboman

August 11th, 2012
4:13 pm

Agree with RA. Joe may not have been elite, but he was upper echelon. Now we only have two upper echelon players, and they really should be playing the same position. We are still one SF from being able to compete. Needs to be a player that can replace Joe’s size, and can create his own shot. If Ferry can make that happen, we have enough players to be entertaining at least this season. My guess is that nothing else was gonna get done until the DH saga was complete and we were definitley out of the running for him. Now time for Ferry to get back to it, but next summer will be Ferry’s time to prove himself.

Bill Riddle

August 11th, 2012
4:20 pm

The are losers since they came from StLlouis and no really good player will ever come to Atlanta to play!

Gman

August 11th, 2012
4:26 pm

The Hawks haven’t been able to land a big free agent since….well, never. No star wants to play here. Not now. Not ever.

Nite Owl

August 11th, 2012
4:27 pm

So, I guess we don’t need to worry about Orlando anymore.

The Eastern Conference is Miami, and maybe the Celtics. And the Pacers?

Bulls will be down, Magic will be down, Sixers will be down, New York will continue to be dysfunctional, Brooklyn will be…okay maybe?

I think that other spot in the conference finals is up for grabs. We could make it, take our butt-whipping from the Heat, and then we’ll see where the free agent merry-go-round takes us next year. Couldn’t complain much about that.

And with Joe gone, clearing the way for more efficient scorers like Lou Williams, Devin Harris, Morrow, Korver, I don’t see why we won’t be improved. This looks like a pretty sleek team, as long as we can play some D.

Nite Owl

August 11th, 2012
4:30 pm

And I know some will hound me for suggesting conference finals, but IF we do that, that will be a huge step towards credibility with free agents.

I’m a fan. I can dream.

Clydesdale

August 11th, 2012
4:46 pm

Atlanta can turn the corner and attract superstars if Ferry keeps making the right moves. The NBA is a black sport unless you are European or named Nash or Love. Even Nash isnt from the U.S. The black entertainment movie and music giants love Atlanta. It is just a matter of time before the athletic black superstars embrace it to. But these guys want to win. Start winning playoff series and making more good personel decisions and we will land a big star. These guys want to win. If we look like we are one superstar from the title we will land him and future superstars will follow suit.

Ryder

August 11th, 2012
5:41 pm

Right now fans have to be patient because Ferry will develop a plan and it looks as if the first part of it is eliminating the loser culture that has infected this team for over 40 years.
The next step will be to decide what to do with Josh Smith. Either revolve your franchise around him or trade him. If he can be that type of takeover player now that JJ is gone, then they have a system in place to attact top tier free agents.

Auburn cheating big surprise NOT

August 11th, 2012
6:53 pm

any AJC sportswriter ever thought about investigating h s transcripts for Auburn as well as other schools in the SEC? That story isn’t going away. Are you all just lazy or do you have it too good to let other media people find these things out and then you latch on with a blog? Seriously, when is the last time any AJC sportswriter investigated any scandals going on in college football? Never

Rodster

August 11th, 2012
7:02 pm

Good points Jeff, but F Howard. Howard is a cancer. I can’t express the loathing I have for him.

MoNow

August 11th, 2012
7:03 pm

dwight, play for the morons who own the hawks?? get real. in LA, he makes millions more from endorsement deals, with top clubs, wild hollywood chicks everywhere, invite only parties at rappers beach mansions—–no way he ever thought about lowly ATl.

Sam

August 11th, 2012
7:05 pm

Once again Schultz has shown he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Let Mr. Ferry finish the trading work he’s begun in Atlanta, and the beneficial results will be obvious even to sports writers.

Horsetoothedjackass

August 11th, 2012
7:42 pm

The NBA needs to take this team over, as along as current ownership remains in place (They quietly buried the use of the Atlanta Spirit name after selling off the Thrashers and the old atlantaspirit.com address redirects to the Hawks website.). The current owners are a bunch of liars who lied to the fans in Atlanta as well as TWO pro sports leagues when they bought the Hawks, Thrashers and the Philips Arena operating rights. Current ownership was the main reason why the Thrashers could never land any top-quality free agents as they were too cheap. This is why the last couple of seasons the Thrashers were in Atlanta their #1 draft pick in the recent draft was on the team, as they needed to make the salary floor that the NHL had. At the same time, they were overpaying for Joe Johnson.

You really start to wonder how different things could have been had Time-Warner honored their deal with David McDavid…..

Son of Sammy Davis Jr, Jr

August 11th, 2012
7:56 pm

There are 2 kinds of franchises in professional sports:

1. The kind of owners that takes the money they earn from the league, advertisements, sales, etc and place it back into the team so the city can have the best possible sports franchise.

2. Then you have the kind of owners that use the franchise as a way to perpetuate their wealth and use the profits to line their pockets.

Sports franchises that are like the former and not the latter are the ones that land the star players. Which one are the Hawks most like?

Bob Martin

August 11th, 2012
8:27 pm

Why cant the AJC land a sports reporter like Ed Pope.

[...] check in and see what some of the other teams that were in on Howard think.  First, in a piece by Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hawks GM Danny Ferry says that he wanted to bring Dwight to Atlanta, his hometown, but a deal [...]

Milledgeville Dawg

August 11th, 2012
10:00 pm

Dwight Howard will be the TO of basketball!!

j

August 12th, 2012
3:27 am

Dwight’s back will now be an ongoing issue for the rest of his career. Take that to the bank

Jfreak13713

August 12th, 2012
8:48 am

This city really wants to like / love the Hawks but years of let downs and heartless playoff performances has harden the hearts of many around here. The Joe Johnson move was a step in the right direction even if the first step is back. I think Ferry in time will build a solid team but we have to remember that Lebron James hasn’t retired just yet so please give Ferry time.

Good Luck Hawks!

DawgNole

August 12th, 2012
8:53 am

Son of Sammy Davis Jr, Jr
August 11th, 2012
7:56 pm

There are 2 kinds of franchises in professional sports:

1. The kind of owners that takes the money they earn from the league, advertisements, sales, etc and place it back into the team so the city can have the best possible sports franchise.

2. Then you have the kind of owners that use the franchise as a way to perpetuate their wealth and use the profits to line their pockets.

Sports franchises that are like the former and not the latter are the ones that land the star players. Which one are the Hawks most like?
_____________________

Good question. And the obvious answer is a major reason why the ATL Hawks franchise has never won a second-round playoff series.

DawgNole

August 12th, 2012
8:56 am

Nite Owl
August 11th, 2012
4:30 pm

And I know some will hound me for suggesting conference finals, but IF we do that, that will be a huge step towards credibility with free agents.

I’m a fan. I can dream.
_________________

A true statement, but a mighty big IF. Keep dreamin’.

Disgusted

August 12th, 2012
9:24 am

All you can ask out of Danny Ferry is to try.

And from early returns he will. Whether he can succeed with this stuff around here remains to be seen.

Problem is that this ownership group stayed with Billy Knight too long. He was a PR poison.

And there are some sports fans who are alienated from this ownership forever because I do have a bard time separating the ASG’s mishandling of the Thrashers, I wish the Hawks players and coaches well, and their fans too but I am not supporting this team.

And for the most part ASG has not been bad stewards of the basketball team.

To me if the Hawls win fine, if they don’t won’t lose sleep over it. I am a Braves/Falcons guy now.

Disgusted

August 12th, 2012
9:28 am

The Magic might as well been better off just letting D-12 walk and start over.

They also got hosed in the Ryan Anderson trade to N.O. They gave their two best players away for zilch.

Those draft picks are lottery protected as I understand it so how much good does that do them?????

crimson1

August 12th, 2012
9:45 am

Why would any team want a head case like Howard. Yes he got game but he does’nt have heart. Thank god my team” Mavericks” didn’t get him. Dallas showed that you don’t need a team of superstars. Just play smart team basketball. Don’t be surprise if Dallas comes out of the west.

Nite Owl

August 12th, 2012
9:56 am

@DawgNole:

It’s definitely a sign of your franchise’s status when making the conference finals is considered an unattainable dream. At least I didn’t say something *really* stupid, like we are going to beat the Heat.

I’m really curious, though. Looking at the Olympic team, none of those guys are really available for us to go get, except maybe Chris Paul in free agency. I heard rumors that somehow Harden could be available in a trade, but why would OKC let him go?

So my question is, who else is out there in the NBA that really makes us better, who is actually available to go get? I just don’t see it. Everyone agrees that we need superstars, but who? And how the hell do we make that happen?

Nite Owl

August 12th, 2012
9:58 am

And Chris Paul *next year* I meant to say. I’m thinking long term.

crimson1

August 12th, 2012
12:28 pm

The hawks need to trade for Cousins an sign Chris Paul. Then you build a team around them. So simple.

5150 UOAD

August 12th, 2012
1:03 pm

The NBA allows SOME teams to be great and get to put together a greats and the rest of the Cities have to have a sub-par product.
I can’t stand the NBA…….

kbb

August 12th, 2012
1:55 pm

Funny how messed up the other sports are yet no one ever says they “hate” them. College football is probably the most corrupt of all of the major sports entities. Kids are being raped, drug addicts are able to play on their third strike, athletes are being paid, etc etc….yet no one “hates” college football.

MLB teams are allowed to buy championships and half of their stars from the past decade are drug abusers and douchebags. Yet no one “hates” the MLB.

I wonder why

DawgNole

August 12th, 2012
2:58 pm

Nite Owl
August 12th, 2012
9:56 am

@DawgNole:

It’s definitely a sign of your franchise’s status when making the conference finals is considered an unattainable dream. At least I didn’t say something *really* stupid, like we are going to beat the Heat.

I’m really curious, though. Looking at the Olympic team, none of those guys are really available for us to go get, except maybe Chris Paul in free agency. I heard rumors that somehow Harden could be available in a trade, but why would OKC let him go?

So my question is, who else is out there in the NBA that really makes us better, who is actually available to go get? I just don’t see it. Everyone agrees that we need superstars, but who? And how the hell do we make that happen?
_________________

Incredible that the francise has not made it past Round 2 since moving to ATL in ‘68. I agree with you that it would be great to have a superstar here, but yeah, that’s a lot easier said than done. It sickens me every time I hear CP’s name mentioned–simply because we could’ve had him here had Knight done his job.

I’m a little more optimistic than last year because we got a GM who’s at least making an effort early on, and we unloaded the albatross that was JJ’s contract. It just seems like the team is perpetually in that rut of never finishing badly enough to get a high draft pick, yet not having enough talent to win a championship.

DawgNole

August 12th, 2012
3:10 pm

kbb
August 12th, 2012
1:55 pm

Funny how messed up the other sports are yet no one ever says they “hate” them. College football is probably the most corrupt of all of the major sports entities. Kids are being raped, drug addicts are able to play on their third strike, athletes are being paid, etc etc….yet no one “hates” college football.
___________________

College football’s biggest sin, in my opinion, is allowing FBS (D-1A) teams to buy wins–literally–rather than “encouraging” them to play competitive opponents by increasing the importance of strength-of-schedule in the rankings. The big boys simply pay the also-rans and other outclassed mediocres $1 million bucks to “come into my house” and bend over.

BravesFan79

August 12th, 2012
9:07 pm

Even if Howard stay in LA past this season, he will end up being misreable there. Within 2 years Nash will be retired, and so will Kobe and Artest. Players like Kobe dont come around often, and the Lakers will be a frindge playoff team for years after hes gone, being no better than the Magic were with Howard.

BravesFan79

August 12th, 2012
9:26 pm

Anyone who thinks LA will be a better team in 2 years than Atlanta (meaning better place to play) is a MORON. They have a almost 40 yr old point guard (still my fav player in the league tho), and Kobe whos going downhill fast and already said he wont stick around if hes only a 15ppg scorer.

BravesFan79

August 12th, 2012
9:38 pm

DawgNole: College football is the biggest joke of all of the major sports. Ive said so for years. Anyone who isnt smart enough to get into the college, should go to a D2 school, no matter how skilled. This means about 60% of the football players would be at small black schools.

BravesFan79

August 12th, 2012
9:59 pm

Crimson1: “Don’t be surprise if Dallas comes out of the west” BAHAHAHAHA…. RIGHT! Cuban screwed that franchise by rolling the dice for Howard/ Williams. Now Dirk (one of my favorite players) will have to play his last years on a non-competitive team. Sad. They should of kept Chandler, JJ, Terry and everyone else.

will smith

August 12th, 2012
10:41 pm

Atlanta has the potential to be a large market team the only thing holding us back is the Hawks ownership group. As a city we consistently rank high in basketball TV ratings (though you would be hard pressed to find a Hawks fan among the many basketball fans here in the city). Recall one of the reasons cited by Billy Knight for the initial trade to get Joe Johnson was to show other NBA players (that is free agents) that Atlanta could be a desirable place to play and that our owners were serious about basketball – then our ownership group decided to kill that story line by suing each other which demonstrated to most free agents that Atlanta’s owners were not ready for prime time.

Smarty

August 12th, 2012
10:48 pm

Jeff, I had no idea you lived in L.A. back in the day. I too suffered MANY lost playoff loses of the Rams. It was tough. Good teams too…Kind of like the Braves…great in the regular season choke in the playoffs.

chainshaw

August 13th, 2012
6:47 am

At the end of the day, the team is still owned by the ASG. They will always fail.

Silby

August 13th, 2012
7:16 am

maybe in year dwight get tired of LA and the hawks can pay him max money ($25-$30 mil) to get him to ATL.

when are we goin' beat a top team ? how many will we beat 2012 ?

August 13th, 2012
7:52 am

Is this all you know to write about Jeff Schultz ?

[...] Atlanta because the Magic didn’t want to deal Howard within the Southeast Division. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has the details: “Ferry approached the Orlando Magic about a trade for Howard in early July but [...]

Benjamin

August 13th, 2012
10:22 am

I’m a bit late on clarifying my commentary that “talk is cheap,” but I was referring more toward how we’re going to be building back up. Dumping Joe’s contract [and Marvin's, as well] certainly does add some credibility that he’s a man with vision, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be ultimately judged by what we were able to put on the floor in their stead. Hence my comment re: talk.

None of that will matter next offseason if we’re not able to bring in guys to build a deeper foundation around.

[...] Hawks GM Danny Ferry said he tried but could not get his foot in the door, he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution: He approached the Orlando Magic about a trade for Howard in early July but was turned down. He [...]

Buddy G

August 13th, 2012
12:07 pm

Ian Fitzsimmons ‏@Ianfitzespn
Stan Van Gundy just told us he blames the front office not Dwight Howard for what happened w/ Magic; he believes DH is a perfect fit in LA.

Echevarria

August 13th, 2012
5:38 pm

wpl….

“Piston won championship 2004, beat world champs SUPERSTAR TEAM LAKERS. Piston won with 12-14 good b-ball players THEY BEAT THE BEST ON THE PLANET IN 2004!!!!!!!!”

Sounds a lot like Denver Nuggets. You saying you’d want the Nuggets roster and be confident they were going to win a championship? Denver is nice, but they wont win a championship unless they get some lucky, special, magical run like the ‘04 Pistons had.

projectcloud1187

August 13th, 2012
8:01 pm

Dwight will be in a Hawks uniform 2013-14 season. Book it. IFWT (In Ferry We Trust).

DaveH

August 14th, 2012
1:37 am

Classic Ferry. He’s still talking total bulls**t, even after destroying the Cavaliers. He hasn’t changed one bit.

lovetravel

August 15th, 2012
2:52 pm

Talk is real Cheaper but Money isn’t so all Howard want everyone get their green out of their pocket anad help him. I am not a fan of someone ego, brag or show off. Be happy that you have money and enjoy life than try to be all that. I am going to say it again and again Hawks will never be a good team no matter what everyone think unless someone speak out and figure out what’s exactly going on. Speak of Joe Johnson he sale his home and expect to someone feel sorry for him could he at least sale that house for less and he going to me whole lots in NY it really all about MONEY not a player to enjoy