The only thing that's clear in this whole mess is it's hard being a Hawks fan.
We'll wait for official word on the Gearon memo asking for the resignation of Danny Ferry over the remarks he heard, but the 6800 pt bold font writing is all over the Philips Arena walls. It's over. The house will be cleaned. Who knows how far we'll have to go to make it back to even this place again.
Say, remember this heartfelt love letter to a franchise who had seemingly turned a basketball corner and had identity and momentum? That was just in May and, oh yes, never mind.
Sure would have been nice if I'd been told it was all going to come crashing down in a river of bad news this franchise hasn't seen since the Dominique trade was announced in 1994. I'd rather endure six more seasons of Glenn Robinson dribbling the ball off his foot or another Antoine Walker night from long range than to watch all of this go down.
Man, and there was momentum. A glorious Game 6 in Atlanta against the #1 seeded Pacers when The Pac was Back. There was a buzz not felt in the city for at least two decades. It's all gone now.
If Danny Ferry is the one behind the unfathomable characterization of a scouting report on Luol Deng (something unconfirmed by the team as yet) then the whole show is over. The whole rebuild, identity, Spurs East...gone. The only thing left is to film a Hawks employee walking out of an empty office, turning around to gaze at a Dominique poster, and then shutting off the lights and closing the door.
Back to Square One, except I don't think there is even a square to stand on at this point. Whenever it seems, ok, this is Square One, something else comes along to make it look like we were actually on Square 4,352 and NOW we are on Square One, only to find we were wrong again.
The franchise, which was on the rise only three months ago, is going to be teetering immediately. This city hasn't really gotten over it's first divorce with the franchise yet, when Wilkins was dealt without public warning when the Hawks had the best record in the East. People booed Stan Kasten, who didn't trade Wilkins mind you, unmercifully a full nine years after that deal was made....during Dominique's number retirement ceremony.
So to go through a vile, racist episode like this....after never having any real success on the court....I just don't know. It has the potential to be a virtual death penalty to a franchise that was getting by on the steam of good people who made the organization run, folks who will suffer long after Bruce Levenson cashes out and/or Danny Ferry takes a see you later check away from the ATL.
As always, the ones crushed in the fallout are the players and the fans. Players will get paid, a product of their signing up for something that now will not be. But the fans. How can we endure more that we already take on an annual basis? Who will be left to count themselves as fans if the organization clears out?
I'll still be here, the intrepid staff here at Peachtree Hoops will be here and I know there will always be the ones who can't let go. Hoo man, Hawks fans are giving new meaning to die hard. We're the A-Team of fans -- no matter how many bullets are fired at us, here we still are, still fighting.
Stay tough, fellow Hawks fans, even as more undesired bad news arrives. We deserve better and maybe one day we'll get it.
UPDATE: As Kris reported over here, Danny Ferry has issued a statement completely distancing himself as the source of the awful characterization that posed as a scouting report. While I hope that it's totally true, I don't know that it matters publicly anymore and it's hard to fathom being able to do his job as GM and recruit players to come here and stay here with this branded onto his reputation.