A bit of crowdsourcing this fine morning as your Peachtree Hoops staff has discussed internally but now throws the doors of democracy open to the best Atlanta Hawks community evah. Which Atlanta Hawk is your least favorite (or hated if you want to go the distance)?
Come on inside and see who the staff nominated and/or provide your own!
Unlike our SB Nation Summer Series of posts, where the staff discussed, posts and then watches as the community comments, the .com is building a Most Hated (Insert Franchise Here) post of their own and wants to know, who is the most Hated Atlanta Hawk of all-time.
REMINDER: This is not a rival, like Paul Pierce or Vince Carter, rather, an Atlanta Hawk who you couldn't stand to see on the court, for personal, collegiate or performance reasons.
The staff discussed and came up with this sad, if-you-can't-say-something-nice-then-put-them-in-this-post list:
The case against Manning is that he was the take for Dominique Wilkins and then, instead of sticking around and helping a 57 win team, he took a 1 year, minimum type offer from the Suns
, sticking it to the Hawks.
The consolation prize when the Hawks missed out on Sam Cassell, Claxton signed a 4 year, 25 million dollar deal to be the Hawks point guard. Claxton played 42 miserable games with the Hawks his first season before getting hurt and playing only two more games for Atlanta. The only bright spot was he was traded with Acie Law for Jamal Crawford, bringing Atlanta one of their more popular players for one of the most hated.
Norman came over in a trade for a retired player (Roy Hinson) only one year after signing a six year deal with the Bucks. See any red flags there? Norman was awful for the Hawks in three very expensive seasons with the team and then he was out of basketball, but the Hawks kept paying for two seasons after he left the floor.
Most infamous contract ever. You would think he was responsible for the debt crisis in America today.
Yet another player reviled for his cost relative to his play. Atlanta fans are nothing if not punitive if a player doesn't match their idea of what he should be doing equating to his paycheck. Henderson was a fine, solid power forward who had a breakout season in his third year -- and then was able to take advantage of that performance to lock down a 7 year, 45 million dollar contract with the Hawks.
You can guess what happens next: Henderson never again scaled the modest heights of his age 25 season, playing barely replacement level basketball throughout that mega-deal.
What can you say about Shelden? A league minimum player from the day he was drafted #5 overall in the 2006 NBA draft, "The Landlord" played below the basket but was an effective rebounder. Williams was more hated because Billy Knight followed up the Marvin Williams selection the season before with Shelden, while Brandon Roy, Rajon Rondo and others were more popular. Knight also seemed to make the selection very early and shut the draft process down, when experts and fans alike saw Williams as a pick unworthy of such a high selection and didn't see any effort to move down.
Shelden was mercifully dealt in his second season with the team to Sacramento in the Mike Bibby deal and has continued to rebound well well down the bench for seven NBA teams.
Isaiah Rider was Pete Babcock's biggest regret as the Atlanta Hawks General Manager. Think about that. All the failed draft picks. Passing on Tony Parker even though he wanted him because he wasn't sure he could translate to the NBA. Firing Mike Fratello. Trading Dominique Wilkins for Danny Manning. Yet bringing in Isaiah "J.R." Rider was #1 on Pete Babcock's own "Biggest Regret" list.
For those of us who we there, we saw it all. The likable demeanor on the outside, always willing to talk with the fans. The scoring, which he did in his short time with the Hawks. You could see why he was such an interesting talent.
We saw the other side, too. The side that caused a party in Portland the day Babcock decided to rebuild and shed Steve Smith's salary before he got "too old". Rider immediately made headlines by arriving late to camp because he didn't want to fly on a propeller plane.
He pouted, often, before, during and after games. He was late to practice, late to games. He was every bit the headache that caused Advil sales to soar in his previous stops in the NBA. Ultimately, after NBA Security informed Pete of yet another transgression, this time involving weed, he was released 60 games into his only season with the team.
Rider held an infamous impromtu presser in the media dining area, complete with a fishing hat and tried to tell his side of the story. It didn't matter to Hawks fans. One of their very favorite men of the community and on the court, Steve Smith, had been traded for Jim Jackson and this clown, and Hawks fans' stomachs turned.
Said Kris Willis in our internal discussions:
Even when the guy was scoring 20 plus in a game you knew he was playing for himself and had no desire to win. He operated on his own schedule at his own pace and was an unsatisfying end to the Lenny Wilkens era in Atlanta. He still pops up in the news at times for all of the wrong reasons.
I hated most of those guys, but considering I didn't attend a single game after the team traded for JR Rider until they drafted Josh Smith means he has to be #1 on the list for me. I know he was not around that long but the mere fact that acquired such a reprehensible person made me boycott the franchise for a long time.
Exit Question: Ok, you've heard from us now tell the world --- Who was your least favorite Atlanta Hawk?