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Hawks using London trip to build team unity

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer talked about the trip to London and how it will provide an opportunity for his group to grow as a team.

Mike Lawrie

On some levels, the trip to London by the Atlanta Hawks and the Brooklyn Nets could be viewed as a double-edged sword. Two long grueling flights across the ocean and a large break in the regular season schedule that either has or will be made up at some point during the season. The trip will provide the opportunity for both teams to compete on a global stage and, for a team like Atlanta, that is a good thing that they seldom get to experience.

Mike Budenholzer sees another positive in the trip, saying that it gives his team another opportunity to bond and grow closer together.

''I think the fact it's a regular-season game changes the dynamics a little bit, but there's still a lot of positives for our whole group, spending time together and experiencing another country and another culture,'' Budenholzer said. ''Spending time together is always important, so I think we're looking at this as a real positive for us.''

More often trips like this one are made during the preseason and coaches have used those for players to escape distraction and grow as a team. Atlanta's trip to Athens, Ga. for the start training camp is an example of such. Coach Budenholzer thinks that type of bonding can happen anytime and this break in the schedule provide such an opportunity. He also think that bonding can lead to better results on the court.

"For the Hawks it's important for us to experience another country and other culture, and we get to spend time with each other and bond," Budenholzer said. "The more time we spend with each other and the more we get to know each other the more this reflects on the court."

Chemistry is a huge part of basketball at every level. Trust, accountability and accepting one's role are huge factors in successful teams and teams that can't get over the hump. The Hawks intend to use this trip as a positive.