The Hawks are so good I might even pay to watch them

I'm asking: Does this look like a fun bunch or what? (AJC photo by Elissa Eubanks)

OK, I'm asking: Does this look like a fun bunch or what? (AJC photo by Elissa Eubanks)

I’m not Clark Howard. I’m no consumer advocate. When I go to games, I get in free. But I feel, in light of current events, I need to say something:

Were I a paying sports fan, I could think of worse ways to dispose of my disposable income than buying a ticket to watch the Hawks play.

They’re not just good. (And they’re very good.) They’re fun to watch. They play hard. They guard people. They pass the ball. Sometimes Joe Johnson still dribbles overmuch and Josh Smith reverts to the excess of youth, but this happens less and less. If your impression of these Hawks was formed a few years ago, you need to look again.

I don’t know that they’ll win the NBA title, but I’m reasonably certain they’ll win at least 50 games. And I know we Atlantans tend to come fashionably late to such soirees. I’m not telling you what to do, but I am making a gentle suggestion: If you go now, I’m guessing you’ll come back.

There have been good Hawks teams — the Lenny Wilkens bunch of the 1990s, to name one — that I didn’t much like watching. These Hawks get me both ways: They win and they entertain. And they play real basketball with a spirit not always on display in the NBA.

As I said: I get in free, so I’m probably not the greatest judge. But even if I had to pay for a seat, I’d consider paying to watch the Hawks. They’re the best team in Atlanta, and they have the potential to become the best team we’ve had in a long, long time.

100 comments Add your comment

Bland

November 20th, 2009
10:38 am

Wes

November 20th, 2009
10:39 am

I’ve been saying the same thing the past few seasons….except for the winning part. Even when they lost, they played hard and were entertaining, competitive in just about every game. I was a season ticket holder before I moved and wish I still was. @wbarker

Bland

November 20th, 2009
10:39 am

there’s confidence for you…….

Ben

November 20th, 2009
10:43 am

Ive been waiting my entire life of 28 years for this day. We were number #1 on the power rankings of ESPN.com and NBA.com. I have taken a lot of grief since high school and college for sticking with the hawks through thick and thin(mostly thin). This team makes it all worth it. And the best part is the fans are now loudly coming to Phillips Arena and showing their gratitude. If we can get Phillips as loud as it was for the playoffs in the regular season, that would amazing. GO Hawks!

A-town Vet

November 20th, 2009
10:45 am

The Fac that they are good is just icing on the cake. I frequently attend Hawks gams and have dones so since the early 80’s and i can honestly say the Philips Arean enviroment is one of the best experiences a fan can have. With all the free give aways, entertaining comentary, well rehearsed bits I would say any paying customer is getting a good deal for their dollar.

PMC

November 20th, 2009
10:53 am

Phillips Arena is terrific. It’s clean, comfortable, and they spend a lot of effort making it a fun place to be. Good seats are still expensive… but everytime I’ve been it’s been a great time.

You should venture south of the catwalk and the media seats and watch it from the BOA level Mark. Much better vantage point.

David

November 20th, 2009
10:54 am

Mark,

Do we have the space to re-sign Joe Johnson next year? All of our parts are in place — I just wonder if we can re-sign him, or if this is the year to do it.

E's Dirty Bird's

November 20th, 2009
10:55 am

Of course one should pay to go see them!! If you can’t support the Hawks right now than you are incapable of supporting anything successful!! Go Hawks baby!! We are one developed Jeff Teague away from becoming a champion!!

shadydave

November 20th, 2009
10:55 am

word(s) for the day = “Disposable Income”!!!
Definition = an extinct creature, possibly mythological in nature…

but these Hawks are so good, may have to skip feedin the dog to go see em…

Michael Gearon

November 20th, 2009
10:57 am

Thanks for the commercial, Mark.

Ree Roe

November 20th, 2009
10:57 am

Atlanta, let’s get out & support this team! Great article Mr. Bradley! We’ve got a good Houston team here tonight & ORL on Thanksgiving, let’s show the NBA that we care about our team.

-REEcently Roe!

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

November 20th, 2009
10:59 am

Haven’t been since I took my late father to a game at the Omni in the late 80s. Would like to go now, but in this economy, no income beyond necessities will be expended.

Dawgs2009

November 20th, 2009
11:00 am

Of course the Hawks are the best team in the city! The Falcons are in the middle of another choke, the Bulldogs are crap, and Tech plays in the ACC.

Mark Bradley

November 20th, 2009
11:01 am

They can keep Joe. There’s room.

guyanadawg

November 20th, 2009
11:03 am

Support the home team. We got called out on TNT last night.
Woodson – coach of the year?!

Raider Fan

November 20th, 2009
11:04 am

Watch out Mark, if you’re not careful, AJC will decide to actually MAKE you start paying. Save them some money.

DHunt

November 20th, 2009
11:09 am

I concur. Hopefully I can find a package deal so I can go to every home game starting January 2010. This team deserves the city’s support. keep beating that drum MB.

Pinoy365

November 20th, 2009
11:09 am

The hawks are so good then with wilkins with so much potential to win the championship, and now the hawks are good but not elite yet wait and see.they are playing better fun to watch yes,hawks fans be proud what are they accomplish right now. Bravo

No Name(required)

November 20th, 2009
11:21 am

The Falcons last year, Ga Tech this year, and now the Hawks are starting strong! Whose next, the Thrashers?

MAD-DONNA

November 20th, 2009
11:21 am

Hey Bland, what’s the big deal about being first?

David Smith

November 20th, 2009
11:33 am

I’m proud of these guys as well. I remember going to the old Omni (God i miss that place) to watch Nique and the rest of the team fill the arena with exciting moments and memorable plays. This current squad takes me back to those times and makes me excited to see how far they can go. GO HAWKS!!!

Tech sucks

November 20th, 2009
11:33 am

There is no big deal. It’s something Tech nerds get excited about. They can tell all their friends on World of Warcraft they responded first on an ajc blog. It’s amazing.

Grumpy

November 20th, 2009
11:33 am

LOL @ Raider Fan

He’s right Mark, don’t give the AJC any ideas! Though I’m sure the team can offer you a nice discount on a season package.

MAD-DONNA

November 20th, 2009
11:36 am

The Hawks are playing well, but don’t get ahead of yourselves! We’ve only just begun!

BugKiller

November 20th, 2009
11:45 am

For the first time in a generation, the Hawks really are “high flying” as all of those lame radio spots have been telling us the last decade.

Mark, you really hit it home. They’re FUN to watch. Like Showtime. Or Phoenix from four years ago. They’re FUN to watch because they are having fun out on the court playing basketball the right way. Hitting the offensive boards, making the outlet pass, hitting the timely three.

Not one on one basketball, like they have in LA or Cleveland.

No bad shot, jacked-up threes from J-Smoove.

Marvin playing within himself.

This is TEAM basketball at it’s best.

And I’ve been saying it for a few days, but really, Woody must be praised with the teaching job he’s done with this team, specifically with Josh Smith and Zaza.

Good job, Woody!

Shawn

November 20th, 2009
11:49 am

Still waiting to see how we match up with Orlando and Cleveland before I get too excited. Not a bandwagon fan but you have to understand the decades of let downs for Atlanta fans to relate to that comment.

GO HAWKS!!!!

SadDawg

November 20th, 2009
11:56 am

Absolutely Woody should be praised. Somehow this season he has the Hawks playing like the Celtics of two seasons ago: making the extra pass, playing tight, tough defense, crashing the boards at both ends of the court and more. J.Smith and J.Crawford are part of a bench that is deep and hold the line and even increase leads. Keep it up Woody and you’ll get that 4 year extension! Go Hawks!

Delbert D.

November 20th, 2009
12:03 pm

You can still get disposable income? I wish I had some.

deejay

November 20th, 2009
12:04 pm

Not only would I pay to see a Hawk game but I would bring a friend too ! They are playing so good it makes me want to slap myself.

EW

November 20th, 2009
12:04 pm

The Hawks are holding up their end of the deal…They’re WINNING. It’s time for the fans to come out and reward their efforts!!!

Football Ken

November 20th, 2009
12:15 pm

This team is good, been there 4x times this year already. Club level is a celebrity gala event, even for us “nobodies”. Go Hawks!!

lexluther

November 20th, 2009
12:19 pm

I am not a soothsayer but listen. I told you at the end of last season that the HAWKS were one, maybe two players away from turning heads in the NBA. By all means I’m not taking any credit for the comment but I’m so very glad that someone (SUND) was reading the blogs at that time. I am a true HAWKS fan. Through it all I have bleed hard for this team. From my days of employment with TurnerBroadcasting to now. It’s very rewarding to see this team and organization come together. I pray that they sustain their chemistry, hard effort and wonderful results.

Now..what I can’t stand and really hope change soon is when the tipoff began, Phillips is damn near empty. WHY??? This group of guys deserve for the place to be rockin and rollin during pre-game warmups. If the sixth man (fans) can fill those seats before tipoff and do away with that (CP time mentallity) I know it will push this team, as is, to soaring new heights.
Again..I’m not a soothsayer but I pray that someone is reading this blog right now!!!

WCJ

November 20th, 2009
12:40 pm

The hawks are looking like boston when they went from bad to great. They are a better team than Cleveland or Boston. Orlando is the best team in the east at this time, but only by a hair. The hawks can take Cleveland or Boston in the playoffs regardless of home court, but it would be wise to have home advantage if the magic and hawks were to meet in the east finals.

bigeasy830

November 20th, 2009
12:43 pm

This is a very good team and I have enjoyed going to games for a while, but that team we had the year we traded Dominique was a great team and a team that had the potential to win it all. That was the worst trade in Hawks history and maybe the worst of any team in the City of Atlanta. Lets hope this year team can bring it home for us and help erase that nightmare of a memory. What do you Coach Woodson detractors think of him now, give a coach some talent and he will show you what he can do. No coach could have won when coach Woodson took over this team. He improved them every year and he actually developed the players that had talent. Those that did not have talent well you see they are doing nothing in the league after they left the Hawks. Rick Sund is doing an awesome job as well. Eventhough we criticized the ownership group those guys stuck to their guns and did the best they could to build a winning franchise. that is what its all about winning. Eventhough its early, I feel like this will be a great season.

GOOOOO, HAWKS!!!!!!!!

Ryder

November 20th, 2009
12:45 pm

The playoffs have proven that the fans will come out and support this team, knda hard to spend a lot of money on tickets during this time of year, but they’ll be out in full force by April and May.

Mark, have you had the chance to go onto foxsports.com and check out Charley Rosen’s analysis of why the Hawks have been so successful this year? It’s a very good read and explains that Josh Smith’s maturity is a bit reason.

That said, I think that the Hawks will be a threat in the East if they stay healthy. They now have depth with veterans Joe Smith and Jamal Crawford. Woodson is growing even more as a coach and it has been a wonderful thing to see these players and staff grow together.

We have to be wise though when it comes to determining this team’s success this year. Remember that the giants of the East (Boston, Cleveland, Orlando) are in that position because of that, GIANTS! Atlanta must continue to play well in the paint and not get reliant upon jump shots when it matters most.

Hawks Fan

November 20th, 2009
12:49 pm

DID ANYONE SEE AL HORFORD ON TNT last night.

If you did, you saw the “new” red Hawks jersey that the team plans to unveil for our nationally televised game against the Orlando Magic on Thanksgiving night.

Let’s get ALL of our fans to wear “RED” to the game that night as our NBA- leading Hawks are wearing their “new” red jerseys.

What do you think?

Let’s get the word out NOW!!!!!

I sent an email to the folks over at AJC to see if we can get them onboard and start a blog telling the fans to wear red to the game.

What better way to SHOCK THE WORLD than to send a “RED WAVE” across the country by our fan base.

This would also be sure to ENERGIZE our team and fanbase.

What are your thoughts?

cdog

November 20th, 2009
12:52 pm

THE HAWKS ARE NOT WORRIED ABOUT NO GIANTS IN THE EAST. THEY ARE THE GIANTS.WHY?BECAUSE THEY ARE ON TOP AND THEY WILL REMAIN ON TOP. THE HAWKS ARE READY TO DOMINATE BASKETBALL. WATCH HOW THEY LAUNCH THE ROCKETS TONIGHT AND EXTERMINATE THE HORNETS TOMORROW NIGHT. GO HAWKS. GREAT JOB WOODY

Hawks Fan

November 20th, 2009
1:00 pm

DID ANYONE SEE AL HORFORD ON TNT last night.

If you did, you saw the “new” red Hawks jersey that the team plans to unveil for our nationally televised game against the Orlando Magic on Thanksgiving night.

Let’s get ALL of our fans to wear “RED” to the game that night as our NBA- leading Hawks are wearing their “new” red jerseys.

What do you think?

Let’s get the word out NOW!!!!!

I sent an email to the folks over at AJC to see if we can get them onboard and start a blog telling the fans to wear red to the game.

What better way to SHOCK THE WORLD than to send a “RED WAVE” across the country by our fan base.

This would also be sure to ENERGIZE our team.

What are your thoughts?

cdog

November 20th, 2009
1:05 pm

THE HAWKS WILL WIN THE THE EAST BY A LONG SHOT, WE ARE NOT WORRIED ABOUT THE REST. THE HAWKS HAVE ARRIVED IN THE EAST. WE WILL DESTROY THE ROCKETS AND THE HORNETS BACK TO BACK.GREAT JOB WOODY.

Sonny Clusters

November 20th, 2009
1:08 pm

You get in free?

Najeh Davenpoop

November 20th, 2009
1:08 pm

50 wins actually seems pretty low right now. If they can keep this up, 55 to 60 wins might end up being more accurate.

Dave

November 20th, 2009
1:12 pm

Mark,
You don’t get in free. Your compensation is discounted upon the cost of attending games. Its fun to get those perks but there is no such thing as a free lunch.

preston

November 20th, 2009
1:27 pm

Hey Mark if it makes you feel any better, you can purchase a few game tickets for me.

Skeezix

November 20th, 2009
1:41 pm

Mark: Pay to see an NBA game? I wouldn’t walk across the street to see an NBA game for free…..

Volman

November 20th, 2009
1:43 pm

Mr. Bradley, I’m in section 303 every game… Are you up at the tippy top of the arena? My buddy and I looked for you but don’t think we saw you on Wednesday…

Dos Hawkquis

November 20th, 2009
1:46 pm

MARK, CDOG, ‘POOP ET AL,

I think that the ECF will be the Hawks Vs. Orlando. Boston has 3 starters over 34 and a bench that is not as young and talented as our bench. Bibby is our oldest starter and J.Smith is our oldest player. We are young and will run Boston out of the 1st or 2nd spot.

Cleveland is not ready for the Hawks this year. Shaq has slowed them down considerably. They were up by 17 on the Wizard and then lost by 20? WTF?

The Thanksgiving Day match-up with us and the Magic will be soooo telling!! I think that the Hawks have supplanted the 2 of the “BIG 3″ in the east.

“I don’t always watch basketball, but when I do, I prefer the Hawks. Stay thirsty my friends.”

hic

November 20th, 2009
1:47 pm

I remember as a young soldier just married stationed at Ft. Benning, GA in 1971-73 watching the Hawks on cable TV with Skip doing the play-by-play & Cotton as the coach, “Lou for 2″ & Pistol Pete. What great entertainment!!! And, now an old fat guy with the same wife still watching these Hawks which are every bit as entertaining and winning too!!!

ILL-logical

November 20th, 2009
1:59 pm

Subtle, very subliminal Mr. Bradley- no Barkleyesque screed for you just a nudge to the public that you should stop there is something to see here.

theZaZaGuy

November 20th, 2009
2:34 pm

I’m the fat crazy Korean guy going nuts and making very emotional faces on Camera. I do it for a reason, and it’s not just the courtside beer service (Great Job Tony!) These guys are exciting. They force turnovers that lead to fast break dunks (remember the Bibby bobble toss to Smoove for the dunk), they rebound, and they play good solid team defense. They’re fun to watch for both their atheleticism and their solid team play. I used to go gambling in Biloxi, but now this is my adrenaline rush. Now you know!!!

theZaZaGuy

November 20th, 2009
2:36 pm

Hey Mark,
I got a tweet a few weeks ago that Al Horford was hitting the weights. I think he might’ve gained 5-10 pounds of muscle since last year. Do you think this is the case? And do you think this could be a difference maker against guys like Dwight and Shaq?