The Atlanta Hawks ushered in the 2015-16 NBA Season Monday afternoon with media day festivities held on the team's practice court at Philips Arena. There was a very different feel to the preceedings from last season when the offseason turmoil surrounding ownership and Danny Ferry took center stage.
Today's event was a much more laid back atmosphere and while the Hawks are very mindful of last season's success, they have both eyes firmly on the future. Mike Budenholzer repeated things that have become common since he arrived as the team's head coach. The Hawks are focused on themselves moreso than the rest of the league. They are concerned about improvement up and down the roster and that is the focus. Budenholzer is a firm believer that if you take care of the details then success will come.
We will have many more articles to come on Media Day, but here were some of the high points from the afternoon.
- Thabo Sefolosha, Kyle Korver and Shelvin Mack have all been cleared for basketball activity including 5-on-5 work. While the team will bring each player along slowly, the hope is that all three will be ready for opening night.
- Budenholzer wasn't ready to name a fifth starter to replace the departed DeMarre Carroll and said that the team was going into the decision with an open mind.
- Budenholzer talked about the Hawks open roster spot and said that he thought it made more sense for them to fill it rather than to begin the season with an open spot on the roster. That is good news for guys like Lamar Patterson and the rest of the guys participating in camp without guaranteed deals.
- Mike Scott also spoke publicly for the first time since his arrest earlier this summer. Scott said that getting back in the gym was like a sanctuary for him and that he is trying to put everything behind him. Given the situation, I walked away thinking that Scott handled himself well