With the Hawks gone, will you watch the NBA finals?

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is joined by his daughter Riley at a news conference after Game 5 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, May 27, 2015. The Warriors won 104-90 and advanced to the NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is joined by his daughter Riley at a news conference after Game 5 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, May 27, 2015. The Warriors won 104-90 and advanced to the NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Someone’s excited about the NBA finals. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The NBA finals are here, or will be in a week. (To borrow from my late esteemed colleague Jesse Outlar: “If the NBA ran World War II, Germany and Japan would still be in the running.”) On its face, this is an intriguing matchup — Golden State against Cleveland, best team against best player. I’d be surprised if the Cavaliers win, but should we be surprised by anything LeBron James does?

Of interest to me, if to no one else, is how Atlanta will respond. The Hawks had a great regular season but were summarily dispatched from the Eastern Conference finals. As we know, the Hawks kept setting records for local TV viewership; as we also know, it wasn’t so long ago that almost nobody in our city gave two figs about our NBA team.

With the Hawks having won two playoff rounds for the first time in their Atlanta history, civic interest in the NBA should be running high. But Atlanta, as we can never forget, isn’t like other places. Just because people came to care about the Hawks doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll care anything about the Cavs against the Warriors. That said …

It has been instructive that, whenever esteemed colleague Tim Tucker does his post-finals breakdown of TV ratings, Atlanta scores high. Given that the Hawks’ attendance, at least before January 2015, was soft (to put it mildly), that first sounded incongruous. The more you thought about it, the more it made sense: Atlanta as a market likes watching NBA games; it just didn’t like watching the Hawks.

But now this not-bad NBA market has a team worth following, and the guess here is that we as a metro area will pay greater attention to Cavs-Warriors than to any World Series of recent vintage. Here, though, I offer this caveat: I’m terrible at estimating crowds.

Reader Comments 1

73 comments
Atlhardhead21
Atlhardhead21

Great article about the Hawks on Chicksintosports.com 

Kensdobs
Kensdobs

I think Danny Ferry made moves that put the Hawks in excellent shape moving forward. They can greatly improve the team in all areas of need without signing an expensive free agent. First, they need to cut ties with free agents EBrand & PAntic, then trade MScott. Next they should resign DCarroll & PMilsap. The final move would be to bring over SF LPatterson & C WTavares, who we drafted last yr & stashed overseas.


We than draft a rebounding PF, with the final move being to make SG JJenkins, who is a very prolific outside shooter, the primary backup to KKorver. Let's face facts, all of last yrs backup options at SG, Basemore, Mack & Schroeder(when used the combination with Teague), were very ineffective at stretching the floor. But Jenkins is definitely an exception, & he's finally healthy.


These moves would


1-allow the very effective starting lineup to remain intact,

2-improve our rim protection, outside shooting, rebounding, overall DEF & depth at all positions.  


Tavares, at 7'3" led the world's 2nd best league, outside the NBA, in blocks & rebounding. He would definitely improve the lack of rebounding & rim protection we lacked last yr. Muscala is much younger with far more upside, & a better option both Offensive & Defensively than both PAntic & EBrand. Consider this roster.


C---Horford-Muscala, Tavares

PF-Milsap, Draft Pick, with Muscala & Horford as options

SF-Carroll, Sefolosa, Patterson

SG-Korver, Jenkins, Basemore with Mack as an options

PG-Teague, Schroeder, Mack


That's a very talented, versatile, tall, quick, fast, athletic, deep & youthful 14 man NBA Finals caliber roster.



H2(+3)
H2(+3)

I think theres a wonderful mess of comments here, and its fun reading the take of many frustrated Atlantans and followers of Atlanta's Professional Sports Franchises. Having followed Atlanta sports, since the Braves arrived in 1966, I've never seethe atmosphere so volatile and bitter about management (and me included). Starting with my two favorite teams, the Hawks and Braves. Hawks management are an embarrassment, but this year was magical…until the official allowed the Cleveland Cavaliers to act like the "Broad Street Bullies" and "Bad Boyz" of Detroit.  As well, the Hawks do have a household name/so-called Superstar like LeBron. So, you can't be angry at the Hawks about that…they were built to play [team] basketball, not "streetfighting" and thuggery! So, game, set-match to Cavs.  To Hawks management, go out and get a couple of game-changing bruisers! To the NBA, shame on you for again showing the viewing audience that a name on the back of a jersey (LeBron) is more important than whats on the front of a jersey…thus, allowing dirty play in plain sight of official. 


As for the Braves, I will never step foot in your NEW STADIUM. I could care less if you ever win again. It's truly about how much you can take from your fan base….even at the expense of a city thats financially strapped and overwhelmed by employment woes. 


So, as with the Flames and Thrashers (to whom I both enjoyed greatly)….GO!  Please take "Atlanta" off the front of your jersey and put "Cobb County Money" on it. 


Tschuss! 

JesseWhite
JesseWhite

I'm curious to see how may Warriors are injured on "hard-nosed hustle" plays by Cavs. I fully expect Splash Bros to get hit in the head a few times. It's really the only way the Cavs have a shot. They have to take out the best players, or they are going to lose. 

AndrewsRiggs
AndrewsRiggs

Yes, I'll be watching. I like basketball. 


"it wasn’t so long ago that almost nobody in our city gave two figs about our NBA team."


Including the local sports reporters.

AcrusaderO
AcrusaderO

Go GSW, sweep the Cavs and Labronda.

Delbert_D
Delbert_D

If it was only one game, like the Super Bowl, I would. I don't care for the overextended drama of baseball or NBA playoffs. I watched the Hawks playoff games for local interest. I'd prefer one game a week for MLB and NBA, like the NFL or CFB.

LaKeisha
LaKeisha

I'll be watching, but only to pull against that LeBron James scum...

BasketballTopFan
BasketballTopFan

M A N Y, M A N Y, M A N Y eyeballs will watch the NBA Finals  ! ! !


The Golden State Warriors versus the Cleveland Cavaliers is a Great match-up.


THANKS Mark for the mention of former AJC Sports Writer Jesse Outlar.


He did not get proper credit and recognition for his columns. Mr. Outlar was a very gifted writer.


The AJC had a very strong stable of sports writers in Jesse Outlar, Furman Bisher and Ernest Reese.

Mark Bradley is keeping the AJC tradition of GREAT Sports Writers..




HeyThere
HeyThere

Not watching, and there is ZERO reason the NBA shouldn't have this whole thing wrapped up in April. If the Hawks made it, hell yea I'd watch.

WW5
WW5

watching hockey playoffs, no time for nba silliness

DontTaseMeBro
DontTaseMeBro

I wasn't watching the Hawks.  Get back to me when the NBA quits using the same officials as the Globetrotters. 

Mutley
Mutley

It's just business. If u remember they gave Michael Jordan a wide latitude also.

DontTaseMeBro
DontTaseMeBro

@Mutley


I remember Magic and Bird before that. Dominique's trademark "move" was travelling. Dr. J, Hell, even Wilt Chamberlain, yeah I'm a geezer. Pro Wrestling is just business too.  That doesn't mean I watch it as a sport. You can't let people slide on the fundamental rules of the game even if they are a star. 

pong
pong

NFL treated Elway like that in Falcon game.

BTC
BTC

No, but I will watch the Stanley Cup finals!

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

Bradley is one guy who seems to esteem every single colleague.   Must make him popular at work.  

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

"With the Hawks gone, will you watch the NBA finals?" Most likely not.


I like to follow the local professional sports teams but I have ZERO respect or use for the Hawks ownership, and the Hawks burned me bad years ago in my youth when then moved out of St. Louis (my Dad used to take me to games there). Aside from the distasteful infighting over the years, the Hawks ownership lost me entirely when they sold the Thrashers out of town. I tuned in this year because the PLAYERS were a compelling story. On the other hand, it delights me to no end that the ownership will not benefit from this team being in the finals.

ATL89
ATL89

Hawks did't deserve to be their, period, so there goes most of Metro Atlanta's/Georgia's interest. It would be great to see Golden State win their first Championship, or Lebron win Cleveland's first Championship, but we have seen  too much of Lebron on ESPN'S LEBRON CENTER during the Playoff, so I'll watch in small doses. Also, I agree with everyone in saying that 25 years later the refs are still wearing #23 jerseys. 

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

I look forward to watching the two best teams in the finals. Hawks clearly didn't deserve to be there.

hardworkinman
hardworkinman

I don't give two hoots about the Warriors-Cavs series. Won't be watching.

aznole
aznole

The league got what it wanted-LJ in the Finals. Can't stand the Cavs anymore after the nonsense in that series. They didn't need the refs' help. Hawks simply weren't the loose, confident bunch we saw most of the season and it started way before the playoffs.

58Supersports
58Supersports

Ain't no sunshine since Hawks are gone...don't care to watch the ref's... It's almost a joke.

Mutley
Mutley

Of course Atlanta fans will watch. They have become accustomed to watching other cities play for championships. Most of them even support other teams.

pong
pong

Hope to see Dirty Delly get an elbow that makes contact with his nose. He flopped from Horford in game 3. He flopped from Teague in game 3. I watched replays many times. Fouls called on Hawks. So, I googled DD and Flop. Bingo! NBA warned him for flopping in Dec 2014. Without being touched at all, he dove head first to the floor. Go Warriors!

5150UOAD
5150UOAD

Didn't watch more than 1 hour of all the Hawk playoff games so why would I watch more games now?

JesseWhite
JesseWhite

@5150UOAD Yet you took time to read and post on a article specifically about watching the finals...the troll is strong in this one. I'm going to watch every second to make up for your absence and watch every second...I'll even Tivo it and watch it again, so it's like two people watched it...me and you 5150UOAD...me and you.

JesseWhite
JesseWhite

@5150UOAD Plus, there is this group of people...they're strange...they're called "sports fans," and they like to watch sports even if their team doesn't make it. One great example is this event called the SuperBowl...you probably didn't watch it this year, because maybe your team wasn't involved, but some of the "fans" will actually watch a game for enjoyment...I know...that's so strange, right?

GTBee
GTBee

For sure. I work in Akron OH - home of LeBron!!

pong
pong

Current home of the Dirty Flopper!

maryjga
maryjga

Oh hell no.   The only reason I watched at all was because the Hawks were in.  

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

@Borodawg @maryjga Exactly.  Makes me exhausted just thinking of making it though another 82 games just to lose to Lebron again next year.

Borodawg
Borodawg

@maryjga Me too.  I watched 90% of the Hawks games on TV this season.  But, the NBA season is entirely too long.  I've had enough.  Not dissin' those that say they'll continue to watch.  

Aojibor
Aojibor

Absolutely I'll watch!  Star power galore, plus a true East vs. West battle.  Both teams are exciting to watch and BOX OFFICE!  There's no way I could've watched Houston vs.Atlanta, YUCK!  It would've been the complete opposite of everything I mentioned positive about this final.

pong
pong

Refs gave you Cleveland, with an assist from someone with a baton.

gmaye
gmaye

Mark Bradley question  shows  why Atlanta is loserville, really? the hawks been around for over 40 years and never been to the finals, we have watched Magic, Jordan, Kobe, and all the great ones without the hawks, every time Atlanta team choke in the playoff  Mark Bradley ask this question.


Hey Mark, when are you going demand sports teams in Atlanta  to bring championships here? that is the question, this guy had been making bad predictions for the last 20 yrs in loserville.

BecauseIsaidSo23
BecauseIsaidSo23

ATLANTA Has the worst sports fans in sports fan history . Bandwagon jumpers with what ever team is winning and let us not forget Fake Fan Crowd Noise through the Speakers     LOL 

pong
pong

Yankees. Steroids.

drmaryb
drmaryb

A GOON & GOBLIN!

Cleveland has a Goblin so, does. The Golden State have a Goon? I see they do have warriors.

I will watch the series, to see for myself.

Popcorn (check)

Butter & Salt (check)

Hennessey Beautiful ( Henne' & Gran Marnier) check

Chocolate Covered Raisins (check)

___________________________________

The New Hawks era has begun. I'm all in for the promise of a new future arising from the ashes. One more thing, flush that new logo. Hire a logo design firm.

JSSN
JSSN

Absolutely

Fierce
Fierce

I'll glance at the first half, go to sleep, and when I wake up early the next morning for work, I'll be sure to watch the highlights, if noteworthy, and check the score. Games starting at 9 PM on the East coast aren't great. In addition, I'm not big on the series concepts anyways, and as ratings always prove, neither are most Americans. It's not the reason, but certainly one of the reasons football is my favorite sport to digest. I'm sorry, but championship games should be events, that have build up, and last for one afternoon. Not something that doesn't have a fixed start date, nor even fixed location, until the semi finals are complete. I'll pass, but go Warriors.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

Will I watch NBA Finals?

Why so you can write an article and bash the Hawks some more by telling us that these two teams got it right?

I will watch only if you promise to not write any more articles bashing the team that almost tripled their win total from last year!

PROMISE?

JSSN
JSSN

@AnsweredTHIS

"I will watch only if you promise to not write any more articles bashing the team that almost tripled their win total from last year!"

Damn, awesome 106 games is some kind of a record!

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@JSSn

Go spit loser! You know it was a typo

4williec
4williec

Never been a fan of basketball at any level. I was, however, cheering for the Hawks to win their series. Now that they are no longer in the hunt, it's no way Jose'. :)


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