ATLANTA, GA - MAY 12: Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks walks onto the court during introductions before facing the Chicago Bulls in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Phillips Arena on May 12, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Over the years, there have been many blog posts about what could make the Atlanta Hawks a championship team. And those are nice blog posts. We have argued over coaching strategy, starting backcourts, and shot selection. And those are nice arguments. Recently, people have tweeted on how it is hard to pick sides in a battle that pits millionaires against billionaires and yet most people stand staunchly in one camp or the other digging their foxholes 140 characters at a time. And those are nice tweets...until someone mentions ticket takers and sellers, security guards and beer venders and then everyone gets sad because losing a job is reality and we rarely do any of the things I mentioned above to interact with that. But even then, those are nice reminders.
Overall, these are nice things. These are good things. These things we do to fuel our passion or create an outlet
for it are wonderful. And so yes, in the midst of these lovely byproducts of fandom, it does creep in that maybe the Hawks will get out of paying a few bad contracts. I have thought about rooting for the owners because maybe if the owners win league parity will as well. I have chuckled at jokes my non-NBA fans have made about how I am finally being forced to not waste my money and 82 games was far more than two weeks too long to begin with. And I can certainly still read blog after blog detailing how Atlanta cannot contend unless they can and this is how they can but this is why they won't because those kinds of articles will serve me hope and feed me anger and do all the wonderful things I need because I have too much passion to just sit passively in the stands and wait for results, too much angst to let out until the basketball actually starts and for 48 minutes I can just root for my team.
So yes, there are nice things to do. There are many reasons to disengage or be angry or happy and just be overall pleasantly reassured that everyone is as greedy as we knew they always were.
But me, me personally, well I was ready for Zaza Pachulia again.
You see I like the Atlanta Hawks. I like other people to like the Atlanta Hawks. And I what I love is to like the Atlanta Hawks with other people. In short, I f'ing like the NBA, and it is getting canceled on me.
I could turn in spite. I could find angles of comfort, but they would all be to mask the fact that my heart is being broken.
Are there moments in March where I wish the season was shorter? Are there times when the frustrations of Al Horford fouling out of another first half make me despise anything that bounces? Do I grow frustrated with mediocrity? A thousand times yes. But I am not going to let that answer mask the pain.
I love Hawks basketball. I was ready for Hawks basketball. And now I miss it.