It has been mentioned before. Somewhere in the past few years, Zaza Pachulia and Atlanta simultaneously embraced his role on the team. It is a rare place for any non-superstar professional athlete to be, and the marriage allows for his weaknesses to sit exposed and accepted and his marginal skills to be glorified to the max of everyone's ability.
There was a moment in round one of the playoffs last year where Zaza grabbed an offensive rebound and layed it back in. No dunk. No "and 1." That is all. A basic hustle play for no immediate affect on the outcome. But quickly the crowd started to buzz, and then as Pachulia ran back down the court, he began side stepping and waving his hands for the crowd to get up. For 20 feet, he beckoned the arena in the middle of the game. And they got up. Because it was Zaza. And they went crazy. And it was awesome.
Zaza Pachulia is not going to win many games for the Hawks. He is a cog in the wheel. But for Hawks fans, the man is going to redeem the mundane parts of basketball one unathletic move at a time. Only with Zaza will rebounds be cheered like three pointers and layups as thunder dunks. It is weird and hard to explain but I love every minute of it. And you should to.
(ed. note: The previous digital video of Zaza was stumbled upon looking for a shot of Zaza sidestepping down the court. No such luck finding that but obviously with great searching, comes great reward none the less. Also, thus ends Zaza's appearances on the countdown.)