The off-season sucks. We all know it. This one looks like it will be sucking far longer than most with a lockout looming. Hell, we even lost the Summer League. Not cool. However, there has been one big, bright star shining down upon us NBA nuts in the form of NBATV showing "Classic NBA Drafts". I'm DVRing them. Seriously. Every bad suit (Anthony Avent), every horrible sentence (Avent again), every bust pick (Avent sweep!)...it's all been amazing and hilarious at the same time.
So, as I am watching this, I see Kenny Anderson's name get called. As chance would have it, I Googled him to see what his career stats were and as I looked down the list I saw it there staring back at me...Kenny Anderson was a Hawk?? He sure was. Not much of one, either. Well that got me to thinking: Who else of note came and went from the Hawks without so much as a whimper? I began to research and what I found was shocking. There are a ton of notable guys that put on a Hawks uniform for a brief moment in time and were swiftly forgotten. So I decided to document that list of awesomeness.
Now, we can't throw every player on the list or it would be filled with Ennis Whatleys. Here is the criteria:
- The player must have been a serviceable NBA player at one point in their career. This eliminates guys like Jeff Sanders. I'll be testing the limits of this criteria.
- They must not have played for the Hawks for more than one full season. This means you, Matt Maloney. Piece of cake.
- They have to be a recognizable name to fans other than Hawks fans. Sorry, Reggie Jordan.
- The list will start at 1990 because it took forever and it's my list. Deal with it.
Let's have a look at who/what I amazingly found (Stats are Points/Rebounds/Assists)...
Haywoode Workman (1989-1990)
Peak stats: 8.0/3.3/4.8
Hawks stats: 1.0/0.5/0.3
An unspectacular start, I know, but he is a well-known player. Yes, the referee and former Hawk killer with the Pacers came into the league with your Atlanta Hawks. A second round draft pick, he logged 6 games played, 6 total points. He would later go to become a key piece of the perennial playoff Pacers teams of the early 1990s.
Sidney Moncreif (1990-1991)
Peak Stats: 22.5/5.8/3.9
Hawks Stats: 4.7/1.8/1.4
The former Bucks great was picked up by Atlanta well past his prime and chipped in with 4.7ppg in an amazingly unspectacular season. I actually got to see him play in person when they visited Philly that year. His shoot-around was an incredible array of trick shots. I loved it. It's a shame to see a legend go out with such a whimper.
Maurice Cheeks (1991-1992)
Peak Stats: 15.6/3.2/7.9
Hawks Stats: 4.6/1.7/3.3
Another well past his prime point guard was brought in to steady the position. If by steady, they meant 4.6ppg, then they were spot on. Cheeks is an NBA legend, or at least he was in Philly. The Hawks actually sent the Knicks Tim McCormick and a 1st round pick for Cheeks. The Knicks used that pick to get Charlie Ward.
Randy Breuer (1992-1993)
Peak Stats: 12.0/6.8/1.3
Hawks Stats: 2.7/2.3/0.5
The former Bucks lifer actually logged minutes for the Hawks during two 10-day contracts. He appeared in a whopping 12 games. Primary skills included: Height (7'3") and seat warming. Famous for his signature quote, "No, I am not Paul Mokeski". OK, I made that up.
John Bagley (1993-1994)
Peak Stats: 14.2/3.3/7.0
Hawks Stats: 5.5/2.8/8.3
Former Celtics hero who may have been the fattest PG ever until Mateen Cleaves and Kalid El Amin came along. Made an appearance in 3 games for your Hawks, logging a monster 0.7ppg. He was perfect from the FT line in those three games. Called it a career shortly after.
Sean Rooks (1995-1996).
Peak Stats: 13.5/7.4/1.3
Hawks Stats: 5.8/3.2/0.6
Came over with Christian Laettner in a mid-season trade from the T-Wolves. Saw the floor in 16 games for the Hawks and couldn't leave for the Lakers fast enough. Highly forgettable.
Jon Barry (1996-1997, 2004-2005)
Peak Stats: 9.0/2.9/3.3
Hawks Stats: 5.2/1.3/1.8 (2005)
OK, I admit that I am stretching the limits of my own criteria here, but I think everyone who knows NBA knows all-time Hawks hater Jon Barry. First stint: 58 forgettable games. Second stint: 16 games and a brief playoff appearance, he probably never unpacked his suitcase. Not sure what happened behind the scenes, but he was notoriously unhappy and his anger against the team is strong to this day.
Mark West (1998-1999)
Peak Stats: 11.8/8.3/0.8
Hawks Stats: 1.2/2.6/0.1
Phoenix legend and all-around good guy, Mark West was completely reluctant to retire...so where else to waste your twilight years than with the Atlanta Hawks? Embarrassingly, he actually appeared in 49 freaking games for the Hawks. The guy was 38 for god's sake. After his legendary Hawks run, he went back to Phoenix to rightly retire as a Sun.
Bimbo Coles (1999-2000)
Peak Stats: 12.8/3.9/5.7
Hawks Stats: 8.1/2.2/3.6
When Bimbo Coles was with the Heat, there were few players I hated worse. Just a smug jerk who made me want to punch my TV. Imagine my disdain when he appeared in 80 GAMES as a Hawk. They traded my beloved Mookie Blaylock to get him, too. That stung worse. He even started some of the season. Painful. His Basketballreference.com picture is him in a Hawks uniform. Kick in the balls.
Brevin Knight (2000-2001)
Peak Stats: 12.6/3.2/8.8
Hawks Stats: 6.9/3.4/6.1
Appearing in 47 games for Atlanta, I can't remember one single basketball related thing he did very well. All I remember is that he was really short and got abused by taller guards. Of course once he landed with the Bobcats he became a major pain in the Hawks' ass.
Bob Sura (2003-2004)
Peak Stats: 14.7/8.3/5.3
Hawks Stats: 14.7/8.3/5.3
A member of the now infamous "Try To Tank The Season" team. Hawks management went out of their way to trade away key pieces and gather a bunch of scrap heap items in an effort to lose as many games as possible. One problem: guys like Sura and Joel Pryzbilla actually gelled and started playing well together. Sura's most memorable moment was when he attempted to get three triple-doubles in a row and missed a shot on purpose to get the rebound. They took the rebound away. It was that kind of year.
Rasheed Wallace (2003-2004)
Peak Stats: 19.3/8.2/1.9
Hawks Stats: 20.0/6.0/2.0
One game he played for the Hawks. One. Part of a swift move that saw him acquired from Portland only to have him immediately shipped to Detroit. I am scratching my head to find a reason why they decided to allow their biggest trade piece to get 42 minutes in the one game he played, but that's the Hawks for you.
Terrell Brandon (2003-2004)
Peak Stats: 19.5/3.9/6.3
Hawks Stats: 0.0/0.0/0.0
Brandon was a Hawk. Well at least his contract was. In a savvy cap saving move, the Hawks traded to get the expiring contract of Terrell Brandon. Nothing like paying a guy $11 million to never even see the arena. I know, I know...listing this is unfair, but it is still interesting trivia.
Tom Gugliotta (2004-2005)
Peak Stats: 20.6/8.7/4.1
Hawks Stats: 7.9/5.5/2.1
The Gugs era lasted 27 memorable games. Well past his prime, Gugliotta was full of effort I guess. I can't even remember one thing he did in Atlanta except forget how to shoot. He got the hint and retired after his short stay in the ATL.
Kenny Anderson (2004-2005)
Peak Stats: 18.8/3.9/9.6
Hawks Stats: 5.0/2.1/2.5
Way, way, way past his prime, Anderson returned to his college town about 10 years too late. A backup PG at best, Anderson struggled through 39 games with the Hawks. After a 4-game stint with the Clippers the following year, he was out of the NBA. He has reportedly burned through $63 million and has 7 kids to 5 women. Great guy. Perfect fit for the list and a great note on which to conclude it.
So who am I missing? Whom did I leave out? Who actually remembers the storied Hawks careers of these players?