Ready or not the NBA season is right around the corner as the offseason officially ends for the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. The team will hold media day festivities on Monday, September 30 at 3 p.m. and will officially begin training camp Tuesday in Athens at the University of Georgia. Here is a look back at the week that was in case you missed any of the headlines:
Danny Ferry addresses the media on Thursday
Ferry expects the Hawks to be competitive in a much deeper Eastern Conference:
"I think we have to get through the beginning of the year to get a feel from our group, but we're not just putting together new players. We have an entirely new coaching staff that is working together. That being said, the guys will work hard and compete. And we have smart coaches and they'll put guys in positions to succeed. I expect us to be competitive. What that means as it relates to wins, losses and so on ... I don't know. The East is better, first of all. You can go through the teams and see the East has gotten more competitive, which I like."
Ferry standing by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer who was arrested for suspected DUI earlier this summer:
"It's an important issue, and it's one that I respect," Ferry said. "I also respect that there's a legal process going on. As I said, I'll support Bud as he goes through the whole thing."
Ferry on Lou Williams who still does not have a timeline for his return:
"He's really had a good last few months," Ferry said. "It was hard at first because he's never been injured, but he's worked hard to get back. We're not going to set timeline. He's in the mode now of playing one-on-one and has no restrictions in doing so."
Michael Cunningham was briefly back on the Hawks beat as he filled in to cover the Ferry press conference. Its behind the AJC's paywall but he is still deserving of a shout.
Player Rankings and Power Rankings aplenty
I previously featured SI.com's Top 100 NBA Players for the 2013-14 season here, here and here but there are plenty more rankings out there to keep you satisfied until actual games start.
Tom Haberstroh - Atlanta Hawks Player Profiles- Insider $
SLAM Online is conducting its annual Top 50 countdown beginning with No. 50 Monta Ellis. No Atlanta Hawks players have turned up yet but Joe Johnson did come in at No. 40.
Of course we all know that the only rankings that matter this time of the year are in the latest release from 2K Sports NBA 2K14
Both Lucas Nogueira and Mike Muscala are in the middle of the preseason of the Liga Endesa in Spain. Muscala finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds for Rio Natura Monbus on Saturday.
Monday is going to be a busy day around these parts as our official preview of training camp will be posted throughout the morning. The preview will include closer looks at the coaching staff as well as the players on the roster. I will be attending media day in the afternoon and will be sending updates via Twitter. If you are not an avid Twitter user then you will be able to follow along in an open thread on the site.
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Rejoice Atlanta Hawks fans, basketball is right around the corner!