In case you missed it, the Atlanta Hawks invited many local media types into Philips Arena Thursday for a series of games and events culminating in a 4 on 4 tournament.
The prize for winning the tourney? Autographed shoes scribed by The Namesake himself (well, former namesake I suppose), the Human Highlight Film himself, Dominique Wilkins.
As we came in, the Hawks had us sign two items, a waiver promising that 41 year old, recovering knee surgery types like myself, wouldn't sue in the inevitable event that one of us keeled over. Good move for the hosts.
The other item was a one-day Hawks contract, signed by Rick Sund, of which our cap value would be tied to relative talent level. Let's just say that I wish all Hawks contract were signed in this manner, and that I was happily overvalued at the $0 level I signed for. Done and done.
Then we received the jerseys you see in the banner pick. Thought it was fitting they suited me in Mario West's uniform number, as with my knee providing no lift or life in my jumpshot, my accuracy is about that as the former Hawk.
Kris and I worked our way down to the court, agreeing that the jerseys themselves were cool, and just playing on the arena floor was about as much as we could have expected.
But the Hawks weren't done.
They took back our 1-day contracts and framed them, later handing them back to us, and then took our pictures, in uniform, professional-style, and gave us a desk-type stand up frame for the pics....complimentary. (well, the photo was complimentary---my image was not, if you know what I mean).
Very, very nice touch.
Steve Holman was on hand to do a Rucker Park like commentary of the proceedings, which included a 3-point shootout, hot shot competition, and the games themselves. Holman took great pleasure in letting us all have it, having good knowledge of almost every participant, including yours truly, who was peppered consistently by the long time voice of the Hawks, but far from the most abused.
Kris and I were flying really high.....and then the Anti-Peachtree Hoops bias kicked in.
Stay tuned for Part Two......