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Training camp is open

Posted By John Morgo On Oct 3 2010 @ 6:47 pm In Atlanta Hawks | No Comments


We want to see some games.

The Hawks have been in camp for about a week, and the time has come for them to play against opposition. We are all getting anxious. Playing against your teammates fine. It gets the rust off, but after a week or so you get stir crazy. Bring in people with different jerseys. Come on.

The Hawks start off the exhibition schedule with the Memphis Grizzlies at Phillips Arena in the middle of the week. They also begin the regular season with the Griz as well. I like Memphis because they have one of the best young announcers in the NBA. Eric Hasseltine has been with them awhile and has done a fantastic job. I’m a bit biased. I met Eric at a sports announcing camp three years ago and gave me some nice tips that has turned me into a much better broadcaster.

Back to my main point. I’m looking forward to that game with Memphis as I want to see how well the Hawks take to Larry Drew’s system. He promises more of a motion offense than what Mike Woodson ran. It’s almost a chicken and egg argument. Do you force the players to adapt to your style or do you run what you think is best suited for your players? Albert Haynesworth of the Redskins is the perfect example. He doesn’t think he’s best suited for a 3-4 defense, so he tried to force a trade. It didn’t work, and nobody is happy. Who has the control? Who’s vision will succeed? The first game will provide some clues.

Another question is Jamal Crawford. He wants a new contract. I’ve gone into his reasoning in a prior column, and will skip it here. (I’m running out of room, and I’ve got a couple more points I want to get in.) Jamal finally tasted the playoffs, and wants more than the $10.1 million he’ll collect this year. Will his situation be a distraction on the court? My guess is no. He hardly uttered a complaining peep all those seasons that he missed the playoffs with those also-rans. It’s how you perform in adversity that reflects on your character. He showed me that he’s a true professional, so I’ll think he’ll be fine.

With the NBA season upon us, I’ll lean heavily on basketball analysis, but I have two quick random topics. The first is my favorite, the NFL labor negotiations. The owners’ main argument for an 18 game season is that they’re listening to the fans. But they have selective hearing. The fans don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for preseason games when the starters play for two series. If you want to quiet grumblings, only charge half for exhibition games, and slash concession prices as well. (That uncomfortable sound you’re hearing is crickets chirping.)

Finally, the Denver Broncos are reeling from the suicide of WR Kenny McKinley. He attended South Cobb High School. Last Friday I did color commentary for their game against McEachern, their first since the tragedy. McEachern can sympathize, as they lost Rajaan Bennett in a murder-suicide two weeks after the star running back committed to Vanderbilt. McEachern, ranked #4 in the state, won 56-23. But the score does not tell the whole story. South Cobb fought valiantly the entire game. They could have folded, and used what happened as an excuse. They did not. For that, they deserve our praise, and our prayers.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll check in with everyone soon.

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