How the Hawks have changed: Three All-Star berths seem too few

Not quite an All-Star, he's still the best at what he does. (John Amis/AP photo)

Not quite an All-Star, he’s still the best at what he does. (John Amis/AP photo)

Not quite an All-Star, he's still the best at what he does. (John Amis/AP photo)

Not quite an All-Star, he’s still the best at what he does. (John Amis/AP photo)

Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said on MLK Day that the Atlanta Hawks deserved four All-Star berths — that’s four on an Eastern Conference roster of 12 — and he wasn’t alone in that sentiment. Turns out the local NBA franchise will be sending only three of their starting five to the game in Manhattan, and here we note the power of the word “only.”

Not so long ago, not many folks around here cared much about the Hawks. Today we care enough to express a smidgen of outrage over the omission of Kyle Korver. A month ago, how many among us could have named three, to say nothing of four, Atlanta Hawks?

But winning 17 games in succession and going 31-2 since Thanksgiving will catch people’s attention, and we Atlantans are in the process of being caught. We’re watching the Hawks in a way we haven’t since the ’80s. We’re getting to know these guys. Heck, we’re upset that only — that word again — 60 percent of the starting five has been named an All-Star. We wanted 80 percent!

For the record, I don’t get overly exercised over All-Star selections in any sport. (Life’s too short.) It would have been nice if the game’s greatest shooter could have participated in something beyond the 3-point contest, but still: When Korver arrived here in the summer of 2012, he hadn’t even been a starter for the Chicago Bulls, his most recent employer. Here he has become almost an All-Star.

We say again: The Hawks have taken a roster of good players and turned them into something better. As mentioned last night, I had no idea Paul Millsap was this good when the Hawks signed him away from Utah in July 2013, and now he’s a two-time All-Star. When Van Gundy was coaching Orlando, he believed Teague to be “a little-bit-better-than-average point guard,” but he’s an All-Star, too. (Player development — it’s a beautiful thing.)

Talking with Al Horford after Wednesday’s win, I went on at length about how much better Millsap is that I’d have believed — Horford, by way of contrast, thought Millsap was great when he was a Jazz man — and when finally I finished I felt moved to say something else.

“I’ve known you were this good for a while now,” I told Horfy. “Since 2006 in Indianapolis.”

That was the year and site of Florida’s first NCAA title. And the reason I’ve thought of him as “Horfy” is because that’s what Joakim Noah, his Gator roommate, used to call him. We can credit this administration for turning two and nearly three Hawks into All-Stars, but Alfred Joel Horford has been tremendous all along.

 

Reader Comments 0

24 comments
gmaye
gmaye

Could we wait till May before we crown them champs, when will you people in Atlanta ever learn, how many times have you been down this  path with Braves, Falcons, Mark Bradley please get off the the wagon''''''''

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

The rebuilding job is ovah,              GO HAWKS !

JackClemens
JackClemens

"Not so long ago, not many folks around here cared much about the Hawks." I would argue a bit with that and just list a few reasons that people may have lost hope: Billy Knight, Shelden, Woodson, Sund, ASG, Drew, Speedy, etc., etc.

HBLWWClyde
HBLWWClyde

I think three is enough. Let Korver get some rest he got 2 kids at home.

slydawg
slydawg

I agree, that in most situations, Korver should have made this team. But that's also the Hawks quaundry when it comes to who is more deserving because of the make up of the team. They do not have one or two very dominate players to distinguish from. One would have to agree that Korver is the lesser of the 4 who had a chance to be chosen. Also note this: If Damien Lilliard, one of the 10 best players in the entire league, can be left off of an All Star team, then Korver does not "deserve" the honor, although he has earned it for playing arguably the best basketball of his career.

slydawg
slydawg

@JackClemens @slydawg Well, yes. Some may argue he has played better in the past. Since I do not want to waste time wading through stats and scouting reports of Korver going to back to 9th grade basketball, I would say, IMHO, this is his best year yet.

WaltBBall
WaltBBall

The HAWKS are something special.  I remember when there was a lot of noise when DF let the HAWKS so-called best player, wannabe superstar leave.  Paul Milsap was his replacement and made his first Allstar appearance.

Jeff Teague has blossmed into an Allstar and big Al who is not a true center so they say is making his 3rd trip as an Allstar C/PF.  I hope Korver gets the call, he deserves it.  Kyle has been a better player then many of us could see and no one realized how deadly accurate he is with someone in his face.  The HAWKS success is no fluke.

A team full of players who want to give their all every night and encouraged by coach Bud to play their game within the confines of the offensive and defensive schemes.  The depth on this team is amazing and steadily growing.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kane337
Kane337

Korver still has a chance to get in if D Wade doesn't play due to his hamstring injury. Then it will be the commissioners pick. Hopefully he picks Korver. 

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

@Kane337 


Yep. The Hamstring is a touchy  muscle. A seemingly re-habilitated hammy can be easily re-aggravated.


Wrecker
Wrecker

Yeah, Horford is great and we all knew it.  Some people just have "it."  He is a winner and someone who makes everyone around him better.  Look at the team without him last year and with him this year for an easy evaluation of what he adds.  Ask any of his teammates.  Sign the guy to a 12 year contract today.

B_D
B_D

Very proud of this team.  I agree with the others that hopefully Korver will get a vacant spot.  It is still tough to get 4 players from one team on the All-Star squad even if their coach is the coach for the East.  GO TEAM!  GO HAWKS!!

bfred
bfred

I suspect Korver will get the last available spot after injury no-shows are settled.  He's on pace to have the best shooting season in NBA history.  Heaven forbid he be penalized for being a scorer.  Putting a badass athlete who has less team impact on the all-star team would be a travesty.

GeorgeSteele
GeorgeSteele

It really doesn't matter because Korver will be at the All-Star event for the three point shooting contest anyway. I think it worked out perfect so that all four players can go.

WaltBBall
WaltBBall

I tend to take Barkley with a grain of salt.  I feel the HAWKS should have 4 on the team, they earned and deserve it, hopefully, the commish can "Do the right thing," and pick Korver to replace Wade.  GO GAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GwinnettFred
GwinnettFred

Hopefully the Commish will do the right thing and replace the injured Wade with Korver! Of the "significant snubs" listed by ESPN only the Bucks Knight and Cavs Love are on a team with a winning record - so Korver might still get the call.


Go Hawks.

ErnestB
ErnestB

I also agree with the comments made by Charles Barkley, winning should be rewarded and selection to the All Star team should be based on the current season not the body of work by a player.  You could make the argument that Korver should have been selected over Wade.  It is great seeing the other Hawks selected to the team.


A rule should be instituted that a player should play in more games than they miss.  Durant should not have been selected to this years All Star game

DjYogi
DjYogi

Mark New York not Brooklyn.  This is a dope honor for the Atlanta Hawks

WaltBBall
WaltBBall

Congrats to Big Al, Paul Milsap and Jeff Teague, all deserving Allstar status.  I feel for Kyle Korver I wanted him to be rewarded for his play and production offensively.  I know we have four Allstars, can't say the coaches blew it but I know they didn't get it quite right.  Korver probably shrugged his shoulders and went back to practicing his jumper.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!