ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 08: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers waits for game introductions to face the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on March 8, 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)
AJC Columnist Jeff Schultz also picked up on the Hawks decision to sell Kobe Bryant shirts in the team store prior to the Hawks game with the Lakers. Schultz asked Teav vice president of public relations Arthur Triche about the decision.
He said the decision to sell opponents’ gear, at least for marquee games, was announced at a meeting last week. Triche said it used to be a common practice. It was done away with when the Atlanta Spirit took over but now has been brought back. Triche also said he believes other teams around the NBA also will be selling T-shirts and items with opponents colors and logos.
The news was also a surprise to Hawks guard Jamal Crawford.
"In the arena? Are you serious? Unbelievable,"
The TV broadcasts haven't done the last four games justice in how much of the crowd has been divided at Philips Arena. If you have been there then you know how loud the opposing cheers have been. Against Chicago when Al Horford went to the line late to tie the noise was deafening. I have never been to a road Hawks game but I can't imagine it being any louder. As was talked about in the earlier post, I can't help but think that this decision is encouraging the crowds to become even more divided.