(Hey folks! Jason made a comment in the last Google Hangout about just enjoying the rest of the season and appreciating those nights when the Hawks play the exciting brand of ball they've shown us at times this year. It got me to thinking a little more about all the "things" in play with regard to Josh Smith.)
"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me."
No one knows who came up with this clever adaptation of a Reinhold Niebuhr quote, but the above thought from an unknown wordsmith certainly applies to the current situation with Josh Smith.There's no point in dwelling on the hows and whys of the Hawks' ugly play of late - let's just hope the worst of it is over. But it is fair to point out during the unpleasantness of late that Josh Smith did himself no favors on the court of play, the practice court and of course the court of public perception.
Maybe it's our fault for expecting more, but safe to say the Smith we got this year looks an awful lot like the guy we already knew he was - an immensely talented, yet enigmatic player who can dominate a game (for good or bad). After nine years as a Hawk, Smoove is who he is.
And that gets us back to the opening quote about change. Fellow Hawks fans, it's time for us to make peace with the JSmoove we know, and appreciate the good (which is considerable) while not getting too caught up in the bad.
There's a pretty simple reason why we fans need to change: as of Friday the Hawks play four more times between now and the trade deadline, and 34 more times in the regular season. The playoffs, when (or maybe even if) they come, probably won't be hanging around One Philips Drive for very long.
Given where the team is and what Smith says he wants, it's reasonable to expect that Josh won't be a Hawk for much longer. If a trade or signing happens in the offseason, he'll be gone in a few months and if a sweet trade deadline offer emerges, he'll be gone in less than two weeks.
For all his shortcomings, Josh Smith has an incredible set of gifts. He works hard. He's from all accounts a good teammate. He cares about the city and liberally volunteers his time and gives his money to local causes.
Along the way, he has played a central role in a sustained run of playoff basketball in Atlanta after a l-o-n-g time in the wilderness for the Hawks franchise. And while we like to think Danny Ferry ultimately will make things better, there are no guarantees about where things might be headed with the team.
Whether his career in Atlanta ends in a few days, weeks or years, fans over time will come to see Josh in a different light. Time has a funny way of smoothing out the rough edges and helping us see things in a different light. So from this point forward, I've decided to change my attitude, make my peace with Josh Smith and "savor the moments" while he's still here.