Milwaukee — You’d think this would be the last place to come for a traffic accident, there being little traffic downtown the Brew City. But by now you’re aware the Hawks’ bus was hit by a car leaving the Bradley Center after shootaround today at noon. We’re happy to report that nobody was hurt. Everybody, however, had a story.
The bus was struck by a driver who would later tell police her brakes failed, and the Hawks could believe it. Those seated in the front of the bus saw the car screeching around a curve. It hit side of the bus. The car’s front was crumpled. The bus was dented and suffered cracked — but not shattered — windows.
Mike Woodson was first off the bus — head coach sits up front — and reacted like an action hero. “I saw the smoke,” he said, speaking of the car, and he unbuckled a little boy from the back seat.
“He was about 3 or 4,” Woodson said. “He said, ‘I want my mommy.’ ” [The boy's mother had been driving the car.]
Then it got kind of funny. The Hawks milled around taking pictures of the dented bus. [Josh Smith showed me three on his cell phone.] Then they started looking for cabs. Five of them — Smith, Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, Jason Collins and Randolph Morris — found one and piled inside, only to discover that it was already occupied.
“There was a lady in there,” Smith said. “She was going to the hospital. [This lady wasn't the one involved in the mishap.] We dropped her off there. She tried to pay for all of us, but we said, ‘No, we’ve got it.’ ”
It must be noted that the Bradley Center is maybe a 10-minute walk from the Hawks’ hotel. Did Smith consider walking? “No. It was cold. I was shivering.” [It was in the mid-50s today here, the balmiest day of the Hawks' stay.]
Besides, it just wouldn’t have looked right for a bunch of big-time ballplayers to be hoofing it in their sweatsuits. “You never know who you’re going to meet on the streets,” said Al Horford, laughing. “It’s rough up here.”
Said Hawks publicist Arthur Triche: “We were wondering if the Bucks’ mascot had anything to do with it.”
And that would have been truly weird. The Bucks’ mascot is named Bango and wears a deer costume. Deer strikes bus?
Oh, yeah. They’re also playing a game here tonight. It’s kind of important. If the Hawks win, they can clinch the series at home Wednesday. If they lose, they might not clinch this series anytime anywhere.
I’ll be happy to step away from my duties as Captain Herb to discuss Game 4 as it plays out. But first y’all have to promise to drive safely. Deal?