'In Your Face' Time: Bye-bye, J-Smoove!

'In Your Face' Time: Bye-bye, J-Smoove!

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So, Josh Smith is gone.  Gone to the Pistons.  Now what?!

Get ready, Hawks fans.   Looks like we're going to be asked to remain patient while general manager Danny Ferry works some sort of magic that will make this franchise relevant to the local Hawks fan again.

Ferry is new to Atlanta and needs a chance to rebuild this team.   But he dare not ask for patience.   Long-suffering Hawks fans want results, and those that have stuck with the team all these years deserve it.

The last reconstruction of the Hawks followed several seasons of mediocrity and fans disappeared in bunches.   We were asked to be patient then.   Better not ask again!   Fans lost faith and worse, they lost interest.  But this is still an NBA town-- at least it ought to be.

Why am I so worked up about Josh Smith's departure?  For years, Josh Smith was the only player who generated the kind of excitement that you can market (and don't try to tell me Joe Johnson was).   He was the local kid who made it to the NBA.

Josh should have been an all-star the last three years.   Snubbed because of immaturity?   That, he was.    But I was able to overlook that because of what we got on the positive side, and that was a guy who could dominate a game whenever he chose to do so.

Josh had glaring weaknesses in his game.  No question about it.  The ability to play with his right hand was almost non-existent (Smoove is left-handed).     For a guy who does his best work near the rim offensively, he made almost no effort to develop a few low-post moves that would have made him a dominant player on offense every night.   Instead, he often lost the ball while over thinking and telegraphing his moves when any number of new-found and well-rehearsed moves to the bucket would've given him an easy layup.   That was something he should have learned after nine years in the NBA.   That's called being "a pro" (see Akeem Olajuwon).

Having said all that, Josh was never the guy NBA analyst Jay Bilas famously ripped in the 2004 draft as the "guy most likely to be a bust in the first round."   Josh is a star.   But his height, strength, athleticism and passion should have made him a better player had he combined those attributes with some consistent professionalism.

Still, J-Smoove was our guy, and overall he did us proud.   He wanted to win.   Can we say the same thing about Hawks ownership?   We do have a history of great hoops in the ATL.   Unfortunately, without an NBA title to show for it.   But we will support a winner.   PLEASE sell the team!

As good as Josh Smith was for our Hawks, he could have been better.   In that regard, Josh failed and so have the Hawks.   His departure is but the latest clue that this is a franchise has no direction.

Mr. Ferry, the Hawks nation turns its lonely eyes to you!

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