Sometimes an NBA fan can find themselves without a team to pledge their allegiance too, and it is hard to imagine a more terrible situation. While it may not sound so bad upon first thought; when you really delve into what it means to be team-less, you see the sense of loneliness and confusion which is then impossible to avoid.
The most obvious problem that a fan without a team will encounter is the lack of motivation to wake up in the morning. Face it, the only thing that gets me out of bed sometimes is knowing that I will be able to watch the Atlanta Hawks play that day, watch highlights from their game the previous day, or discuss previous and upcoming games with other fans. If you don’t have a team to call your own however, what is the point of even getting out of bed?
Work, school, food, bowel movements, and women are all decent reasons to slide out from under the covers, but they pale in comparison to the motivation which my favorite team can give me. Making friends is the same way. Sure, meeting somebody and bonding over a mole that you may have in common is kinda cool. As is the friendship that is created when you save somebody’s life, but those connections don’t really compare to the camaraderie that fans of the same team share.
I cannot describe the joy that rushes through me when somebody tells me that they love the Hawks and proceed to tell me that they think that Zaza Pachulia is the most underrated player in the league. Who cares that it has happened only once, and I was a little too inebriated to save the guy’s number in my phone (even though I did save his name as “New Best Friend”). It is impossible to match the bond shared by fans of the same team, and that is why I am here to do you a favor today.
I am going to scoot over and make room on the Hawks bandwagon for everybody who is interested. If you accept the seat; not only will you be in for unpredictable and bi-polar basketball, but there is also a possibility that your number may one day fill that “New Best Friend” contact space in my phone.
I already know what you’re thinking though: “Why should I choose the Hawks? They don’t even have a trifecta of superstars, or a huge payroll, or a sixth man with a beard you can hide a sandwich in!”
That may be true; but the Hawks can offer you a wide range of entertainment, even if it doesn’t always result in wins. If you are seeking a new favorite team, the Hawks can provide you with tons of comfort and I will tell you the reasons why.
They Finally Have a New Look- The Hawks were relatively the same team over the last handful of seasons. They relied on Joe Johnson for all their big shots down the stretch, and the offense, which was basically run through him was a little stagnant at times. Even more, you could always expect to hear the same things from the announcers every time the Hawks played. Whether it was something along the lines of “Joe Johnson sure is an underrated player in this league who would make a great second option” or “They gave Joe Johnson a huge contract and he just hasn’t been able to earn it yet”, it all got a little stale.
You won’t be hearing that anytime soon though (unless you’re watching a Brooklyn Nets game). Now for better or worse, Josh Smith and Al Horford are the face of this Hawks team. The main result should be less possessions that end in fadeaway jumpers by Johnson at the shot clock buzzer, even if that means they are replaced by Smith taking fadeaways with 20 seconds left on the clock. The tempo should be up this year, and that is a huge reason for excitement to be up as well.
Ivan Johnson- In the event that you are lacking a favorite team AND a favorite player, the Hawks can help you kill two birds with one stone (as long as you aren’t killing hawks). In the simplest sense, Ivan is the embodiment of the toughness that the NBA lacks these days.
In addition to the toughness Ivan brings, he is most definitely a character. From the diamond grill he wears during games, to candid cut-through-the-BS interviews that he gives, to the fact that he is banned from the Korean Basketball League for life, the Ivan that you see is exactly what you’ll get. While it is tough to put a finger on what exactly Ivan’s role on the Hawks will be, it was a great decision to bring him back for this season. It will be an even better decision for you to make Ivan your favorite player, because you probably won’t like him when he is mad.
Possible Musical Collaborations Between Hawks Players And Rappers- One of the new players to join the Hawks this season is Louis Williams, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Philadelphia 76ers.
While Williams might be known for his scoring off the bench (he is expected to fill the role which Jamal Crawford held two seasons ago), he is also an aspiring hip-hop artist. That could prove to be a fruitful endeavor in a city like Atlanta which is seemingly flooded with rappers. If all goes according to plan; not only will Williams be filling up the box score but perhaps your iTunes library as well. If nothing else, it could make for some interesting starting lineup music and halftime fun.
The Rest Of The Fan Base- One of the things that has kept me upbeat and excited about Hawks basketball at the start of each season are the rest of the fans who share the treat (or perhaps curse) of being Hawks fans. I never thought that so much humor could be extracted from losses and disappointment, but that is exactly what the entire forum is able to do over at HawkSquawk.
In recent years it seems as though the NBA fan bases have separated into two groups: the winners who have been flooded with bandwagoners who have little knowledge of the game, and the losers who have down-and-out groups of fans who steadily lose interest with each passing season. The Hawks however are right in the middle, unable to lure bandwagon fans with hopes of championships, but consistently good enough to tease all the current fans into believing that a championship run is just a year away.
As a result, the majority of Hawks fans have been with the team for a long time and display this longevity with a solid understanding of the game of basketball. Beyond that knowledge lies an ingenious sense of humor which has grown both from the futility of the past seasons and the moderate success of the present. If you are looking for a group of fans who won’t sugarcoat a loss, but won’t drown their sorrows by drinking bleach after playoff elimination, the Hawks are your team.
The Hawks Will Be Fun To Play With In NBA 2K13- When I was a young boy, the biggest requirement that existed for a team to become my favorite was that I had to be good with them in video games. This stipulation still remains today, and luckily the Hawks meet this requirement very well.
For the past couple of years, the Hawks have always been an exciting choice for me in NBA2k games. From Josh Smith’s athleticism leading to tons of alley oops, to Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford’s ability to knock down threes from way downtown, the Hawks have usually had the makings of a good video game team. Easily the best part of all though, is the joy I receive from watching Zaza Pachulia try to crossover dribble through a triple team on his way to attempt a dunk. I will tell you from experience, that you’ve never seen somebody more angry at a video game than when they are getting torn apart by Zaza.
This year will be no different for the Hawks, as Josh Smith will still be a force to be reckoned with as he flies over defenders for slams and puts his crotch in their face while hanging on the rim. Al Horford will be one of the higher-ranked centers and possess range that very few big men do. While the additions of Kyle Korver, Anthony Morrow, John Jenkins, and Lou Williams will give the Hawks a ton of shooters on the roster. As i’ve learned, no matter how far behind you fall there is always a chance for a comeback thanks to barrages of threes.
While the Hawks existence as perhaps a strictly exciting video-game team may be one of the factors which has led to their lack of respect in the past, that is just fine with me. While it may not prove much in real life, beating a friend in NBA 2k who consistently talks trash about the Hawks will at least cheer you up until the they play again.
To be honest, I could go on all day listing reasons why you should root for the Hawks. The team is made up of as likable/interesting a bunch as I think you’ll find in the NBA. Al Horford is married to Miss Universe 2003, while DeShawn Stevenson has an ATM in his house and coerces all his female groupies to get matching tattoos. Zaza Pachulia is the perfect example of a clumsiness mixed with heart, and Kyle Korver continues to prove that just because you couldn’t stop a middle-schooler from scoring on you doesn’t mean you can’t make it as an NBA player.
I am a Hawks fan for a plethora of reasons, and have grown attached to them more and more over the years. I cannot force anybody to start to root for a team, and it would be ludicrous to even attempt it. But before you give up on the possibility of becoming a Hawks fan altogether, remember–you don’t want to make Ivan Johnson mad…