Every year I find myself having to explain myself on why I’m an Atlanta Hawks fan. I mean … can you blame people for asking? I live in the Boston area, yet here I am rooting for the Hawks. You should see me walking around the mall looking for Hawks gear and have the sales representatives look at me like I have five heads. I fell in love with the Atlanta Hawks because of one guy; Joe Johnson.
Joe Johnson, out of Arkansas, has been a player I mirrored my game around growing up. His size-up combos and dribble pull-ups were cleaner than ever and it seemed like the game of basketball came easy to him. More importantly, I loved watching him because he was never widely recognized league wide.
Nothing came easy for Joe as he was in an age surrounded by Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, and the list goes on. Growing up I was always considered the underdog and I tend to gravitate towards those humble, reserved guys who reporters can barely get two words out of.
When you hear the name Joe Johnson you know the man can score the basketball. His career averages are 16-4-4 and he managed to average 20+ for five consecutive seasons, while putting some accolades to buff out his resume.Now you can catch Joe playing in the Big3 on weekends as he’s leading the league in points per game at 21.9 on 175 points, 7.5 rebounds a game, and 3.8 assists. Playoffs start next this upcoming weekend as he is the Captain of the #1 seeded Triplets. Someone needs to highly encourage him at making an NBA comeback!
I became a Hawks fan around 2007 right around the time my hometown Celtics were about to make a championship run. As a kid, the Celtics were all I knew and one day in early November of ’07, the Hawks were playing on the road in Boston. From that moment on I went out of my way to always root for the Hawks no matter how bad or good they were. I fell in love with this roster:
Most of these guys were spread around the rotation during that era but were an exciting team to watch. The Hawks were one of the longest franchises to continuously make the playoffs (11 years) but were subjected to some first and second round exits upon a conference finals sweep by the Cavs on such an impressive season ending in a whole starting five as all-stars.
Once again I find myself explaining this story in a variety of different ways every year when I meet new people and the reactions are priceless. I will never stop loving the Atlanta Hawks and most of all you won’t see my name on the list of bandwagon fans.