The biggest news of the weekend for the Atlanta Hawks was, unfortunately, the arrest of starting point guard Dennis Schröder. The 24-year-old was charged with misdemeanor battery stemming from an incident in Brookhaven and, while Schröder made the trip (and started) to Miami on Sunday, he had not yet been available to the media.
That changed in advance of the preseason opener, as he spoke with Michael Cunningham of the AJC.
“I’ve been here four years. Came here at 19 and I think (showed) improvement every year. I just try to get better every day and try to learn. I think we are all human beings. Everybody makes mistakes. I try to learn from it and keep earning my teammate’s trust.”
Given that Schröder was on the floor to begin the preseason, it appears likely that he will avoid major sanction on the heels of the arrest, at least unless he is convicted and something of an automatic penalty would be triggered. Still, many observers took a stance that this transgression did not speak well to Schröder’s abilities as a leader and face of the franchise.
In response to the incident, Mike Budenholzer said the following, also to the AJC.
“Certainly we don’t want any of our players or Dennis to be put in this kind of position, and I think he understands that. I think it’s an opportunity for him to learn. He is going to continue to grow. He has the ability to become a leader on our team.
“He has to earn everybody’s trust, everybody’s respect. That’s what comes with leadership, or that’s how you become a leader. But it’s part of his growth, it’s part of the process. We are disappointed that anyone would be in that position.”
It is certainly fair and unsurprising to hear Budenholzer’s disappointment come through but, in the same breath, everyone (including Schröder) is saying the right things. It will be interesting to see how the legal process plays out but, for now, both player and team appear to be focused on moving forward.