The Hawks are the Yankees of average. No one likes them but Hawk's fans.
It is a bit shocking. Atlanta is not dirty. They do not show boat. They win games they should win and lose games they should lose. They are safe. The Hawks are non-violent. From ownership on down, they only hurt themselves. They threaten no other fan group, yet they are despised and tossed aside with afterthoughts of "same old Hawks" and "they deserve to lose." Our team is like hating a condiment you don't own and never have to use. But hated still they are.
The Hawks have been branded as bad basketball despite winning rather constantly for a few years. They rouse no joy because they win and lose in the same form most nights when they seemingly could win and lose in much better, more appealing ways.
"We don't want to see the Hawks in the second because they are the Hawks" and "they will not make the second round because they are the Hawks." It is the odd snake who eats its own tail when it is not even hungry but so it goes for Hawks bashing.
ESPN barely ever had the AP story on the front page. Beyond that, they gave no analysis of the aftermath. SBNation rightly pointed it out on the homepage with a "could it be a blown call" post almost immediately after it happened and an update that it officially was incorrect but nothing else. No Celtics blog I could find made even a mention of it.
And why should it matter? The Hawks did not deserve to go to the second round and they would not go even if the call was right because non deserving basketball is never rewarded. Maybe if Atlanta played the game better. Maybe if they had the heart of a Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce.
Or maybe we should just call BS fandom when we see it.
You can't hate the Hawks for the bad basketball they apparently play and not care when the game you so passionately defend by who you choose to root for is clearly compromised with a call. How can you honestly sit in contempt overJosh Smith jump shots and Joe Johnson contracts and ignore such an obvious black eye on an important game?
The reason is you are not fans of basketball, you are fans of narrative. Your NBA is pro wrestling where the script is set and outrage only comes when something upsets the agreed upon plot. A Hawks team that wastes possession and takes bad shots does not deserve to send KG into the sunset. So bury the story. Ignore the unfairness, and while you are at it, give a brief mention of how terrible Atlanta fans are on your way out.