GameNight: The Next (Good) Ex-Hawk
Posted 30 November 2007 - 07:02 PM
Turn on the TV, and you see them----everywhere---
They are in Oakland, Dallas, Detroit, Phoenix---anywhere the TNT/ESPN/ABC cameras seeme to be---there they are---
No, they never tasted the sweet necter of playoff basketball while under the gleaming lights of Philips Arena, but they have found brighter lights and bigger paychecks in uniforms other than those of the Atlanta Hawks.
Now, focus in on the Hawks locker room tonight---take a look around---pay attention and you might catch a glimpse of one of these creatures, emerging from their youth and ready to contribute---to someone else.
Could it be Salim Stoudamire, he being the potentially potent 3-point bombardier, limited to be the below-the-radar funnyman in the locker room?
How about Josh Smith and his healthy box score lines every night?
No, as one peers into the depths of the Hawks, one bird appears more ready than the others to take flight, ready to take his steady-if-not spectacular game to another team’s playoff arena near your TV.
He has come in as the lottery pick and has hit his potential well---a glue guy with effective shooting, long wingspan defense, and excellent athleticism.
He has exhibited nothing but the best when it comes to submitting himself to the great guessing game that is his position and responsibility and also to whether or not he will be in the starting lineup from night to night. He’s never in the headlines for anything negative, and you never know when or where he might appear during a Hawks game.
“Patience,” explains the now-fourth year swingman, speaking about yet another off-the-bench effort—even with Marvin Williams out of the lineup. “Being here with all of these talented guys has taught me patience.”
Childress talks as you would expect out of a man who has, by all definitions, bided his time on the Hawks, never experiencing the thrill of victory, but long feeling the agony of defeat. He has waited, learned, and improved to the point where every team in the league has taken notice of his skills.
When teams call the Hawks, Childress is the name that is mentioned the most.
Why, one might ask?
Because every team recognizes the talent, effort, and energy that Childress brings to the floor, along with the obvious matchup problems he provides. After all, it was for those very reasons that Hawks GM Billy Knight selected the Stanford Cardinal over the likes of Andre Iguodala and Smith.
Also obvious is his stand-up guy reputation--- in total the same skills set that got Rockets forward Shane Battier a 6 yr, 36 million dollar contact in 2004.
All of which makes it interesting that the young forward this offseason will face the first taste of free agency. He was not afforded the extension he could have signed this offseason, and considering he doesn’t get starter’s minutes, or a consistent role, on a team that has struggled in winning---is is a stretch to envision the big haired swingman taking his game elsewhere?
Fortunately for Hawks fans that wouldn’t want to see Childress depart, teams are not in great position to make an offer any greater than the mid-level exception and the Hawks have the right of first refusal on any contract signed by Childress. The bad news for those fans is that not even that level an offer would be guaranteed to be matched by the Hawks, even though it’s widely believed to be a bargain price for Josh.
“To be honest, the opportunity to play will be important,” says Childress about what he would be looking for as a free agent. “That’s something that will be my main factor—where I can play the most.”
“Hopefully that will be Atlanta,” continued Josh. “but this is a business, and you gotta play it by ear. For this year, I am going to do whatever I have to do to help my team win in Atlanta.”
Picture it, a playoff seasoned franchise woos Childress, waving a plethora of minutes and an upbeat tempo to play in----thing he would be sold for an offer similar to Battier’s? Can you see him in San Antonio? Phoenix?
It’s something that’s been seen many times by Hawks watchers and something that, as one pulls back from the locker room today, can be seen again.
Can you see him bouncing around, having the broadcasters lauding the effort, the talent, and the man? After watching and listening to him talk, it certainly seems like the young man is resigned to the fact that, if he wants to get what he wants, it won’t be in Atlanta.
The next Ex-Hawk.
Posted 30 November 2007 - 07:26 PM
Posted 30 November 2007 - 07:57 PM
If he wants to start, it will have to be elsewhere. If he just wnats major minutes, he can do that in Atlanta.
Terrific article regardless. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb3d.gif
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