What a week to be a fan of the Atlanta Hawks. The degree to which you agree/disagree with comments from Danny Ferry, Bruce Levenson, Steve Koonin, Former [REDACTED], or the actions of Jerry Michael Gearon Junior is of no importance to me. This past week just sucked all around and I am not here to get on a soapbox about an issue.
No, I am here to point out positives in and around the Atlanta Hawks organization. For all the negative national attention the Hawks have had over the past week, one might get the impression that there are no good people around the Hawks. And this is not true.
Every Hawks fan knows about the amazing radio play-by-play announcer Steve Holman. His comments on Dwyane Wade from the 2009 Playoff Series against the Miami Heat were classic. We are also fortunate enough to have the incomparable Bob Rathbun and legendary Dominique Wilkins for telecasts on Fox Sports South. Bob is the hardest working man in television and vastly underrated in his preparations for each telecast. He actually understands the rules of the game, something I notice everytime I listen to a national telecast. And Dominique? Geez, I cannot put into words what the Human Highlight Film means to the organization and city.
These three are not the only positive members of the Hawks, but they are some of the most prominent. I do not want to start naming names of other great people in the organization because I will undoubtedly leave someone out. But there is one I would like to highlight.
A Ryan Cameron Story
Ryan Cameron used to be the in-game host back around 2002--2003 instead of the public address announcer. He ran up and down the arena giving away prizes during timeouts and interacting with the crowd. You know the events, like shooting hoops from half-court or answer trivia questions. If you have been to a Hawks game in the past 10 years then you know Mike King as the current host, but I am sure he learned a lot of his tricks from Ryan.
Well Ryan really liked me and all my friends because we were wild during the games. Every game he made an effort to say what’s up to us and would occasionally get us to participate in the events. He knew he could always go to our group if he could not find entertaining people in the arena. Heck, I have dunked1 three times as a part of in-game entertainment.
Around 2004, Ryan became the PA announcer. We made sure to go over and tell him congratulations and that we would miss him running around doing the in-game events. He was real cool and appreciative to us. Then as we were about to go to our seats that were probably in the 400s section2, he tells us to wait a minute. He reaches into his pocket and grabs some tickets and asks if we'd like to sit "a little bit closer." Of course we would.
He gave us courtside seats.
Share Your Experiences
That is only one example of the great people who work for the Atlanta Hawks. So I urge you not to forget about these people. But if you are too upset with the events of this past week, I don’t blame you for taking a break. It’s one way to voice your displeasure.
I know I can’t have the only story of good people in the Hawks organization doing some good. So post your positive experiences in the comments. This fanbase sure could use some positive vibes.
1. These were all assisted by a trampoline and better classified as attempts. The first time I did not hit the trampoline hard enough and looked more like chicken trying to fly. The second time I ran too fast and ended up toppling over and landing on my head. The third time I did it. The crowd went wild! Then I turned around to realize that the person behind me was a member of the Sky Squad in normal clothes. The crowd was cheering because he completed a real flip off the trampoline for a dunk.↩
2. This was before they closed that section off for regular season games, a move undoubtedly triggered by the outsourcing of ticketing to QCue in order to limit supply of available seats.↩