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Found 23 results

  1. Best part is, just like with the Hawks, Tiago doesn't have to show up to work for months! Congrats! ~lw3
  2. "Boogie, Smoove... Smoove, Boogie..." How 'bout Josh and Rondo finally together? ~lw3
  3. I read somewhere the Raps' G-League still hold his rights (in the G-League, natch). Is that true? EDIT: here it go, confirmation... ~lw3
  4. ... except this ... ((no dueling banjos were involved in this story)) ~lw3
  5. "It's a New Day!" ~lw3
  6. ~lw3
  7. pour maintenant, at least. He's got an NBA opt-out clause. ~lw3
  8. Congrats and good luck to the former Hawk. ~lw3
  9. Induction ceremonies will begin shortly and aired live on NBATV. I've got a whole essay almost finished on the longtime Hawk (centered around his brief season in Atlanta, before jumping to the ABA), but ran out of time and will post later this weekend. ~lw3
  10. Dwight Jones (1952-2016) was born and raised in Houston. The power forward/center played at the legendary Phillis Wheatley High School, just as the Fifth Ward school built for African-American students was in the process of desegregating statewide, and teamed with Allen Batro and Spider Johnson to key a basketball powerhouse that enlivened the hoops landscape in the heart of Football Country. Amid a 72-game winning streak, Jones’ Wheatley Wildcats went 36-0 and captured the state title in Texas’ first-ever desegregated high school tournament in 1968. Jones stayed in Houston for college, a central component for legendary coach Guy V. Lewis’ uptempo style that surged the University of Houston program to the top of the polls and cemented their budding rivalry with mighty UCLA. During Jones’ tenure on campus, where he averaged 14.1 RPG, UH had won 20+ games four seasons in a row for the first time in the school’s history. As a collegian, Jones also had a key role on the ill-fated 1972 Olympic Games squad for Team USA. Everyone remembers the controversial conclusion to the Gold Medal match in Munich, versus a Soviet Union stocked with professional athletes. But less noted is that the USA’s leading scorer and second-best rebounder, Jones, was ejected by the referees along with the Soviets’ Mikhail Korkiya with 12 minutes left to play, after the two scuffled briefly while vying for a loose ball. Following Jones’ ejection, Team USA’s top rebounder (and Doc Rivers’ uncle) Jim Brewer suffered a concussion on the ensuing jump ball and left the game, too. Jones himself starred at center because UCLA star Bill Walton declined to participate in the Summer Games, after his demands were not met by Team USA officials. Jones was Houston-born-and-bred, the city’s greatest scholastic hoops player, a hometown collegiate star, and a would-be-medalist Olympian. So, naturally, the Houston Rockets passed on Jones in the 1973 NBA Draft for another Olympian. Houston picked 6th and took small forward Ed Ratleff of CSU Long Beach via Ohio, who went on to have a brief and mostly unremarkable NBA career. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks were lying-in-wait. The Hawks were coming off a nice 46-36 season in Cotton Fitzsimmons’ first year at the helm, and already possessed the 10th pick in the ’73 Draft. But they also had moved into the 9th spot thanks to trading away Detroit native George Trapp (5th overall pick in 1971) to his hometown Pistons a few days prior to the draft. Atlanta used the 10th pick on John Brown of Missouri, and the preceding pick to take Jones. The wheels fell off the Hawks during Jones’ rookie season of 1973-74, the team reverting back to a sub-.500 record. After the season concluded, veteran center Walt Bellamy was picked up by the New Orleans Jazz in the expansion draft, while Pete Maravich soon followed Bells to the Big Easy via trade. Those moves pressed Jones more urgently into action in the following seasons. Despite a nice frontcourt grouping with John Drew and Mike Soujourner, Jones (9th in NBA for O-Reb% in 1974-75) and the Hawks could never quite turn the corner and produce a winning record or a playoff berth. Jones does rank second all-time in defensive rating for the Atlanta Hawks franchise, his 97.9 opponent points per 100 possessions just a shade behind Dikembe Mutombo’s 97.8. His 22.1 defensive rebounding percentage ranks seventh in the team annals, just behind Al Horford. He averaged his career-best 9.3 RPG in 1974-75 with the Hawks, in just the second year of his ten-season NBA career. Last summer, declared Jones as the best player ever to wear the uniform number 13 for the franchise (sorry, Big Dog). Jones was a component of a questionable trade by the Hawks, one that brought the big man home to Houston in exchange for center Joe C. Meriweather. It was head-scratching because accompanying Jones in the deal to the Rockets was the top pick in the 1976 Draft, which Houston used to select John Lucas. Atlanta effectively traded down to the 9th spot, but this time, talents like Adrian Dantley (6th pick) and Robert Parish (8th pick) would not land in their lap. The Hawks settled on Princeton’s Armond Hill. Meriweather and Hill each had brief yet solid seasons in Atlanta, but the team had missed out on a chance to acquire franchise-changing talent. Playing behind Rudy Tomjanovich and Moses Malone, Jones finally reached the NBA Playoffs as a reserve with the Rockets in 1977. Jones moved up in the depth chart in 1977-78 when the Rockets were waylaid by Rudy T’s infamous early-season injury departure, a blow that would take a couple years for Houston to recover from. Jones was waived by the Rockets early in the 1979-80 season, and he would round out his NBA career with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, concluding his career as a reserve in the NBA Finals. He went on to be a car salesman and enjoyed hunting and training hunting dogs in his spare time. He would also get to enjoy watching his son, Dwight II, become a state high-school all-star and play hoops for both UH and nearby Houston Baptist. Jones topped out at 6-foot-10 and played at a lithe 210 pounds. But he ballooned to 290 pounds in his post-playing days. Suffering from gout and needing kidney dialysis, he had lost toes and had an above-the-knee leg amputation just a couple years ago. He survived a brush with death in 2012, requiring hospitalization due to an aortic dissection that often proves fatal, but recovered in time to enjoy watching the 2013 All-Star Game, played that year in Houston. Texas’ interscholastic basketball league honored the 50th anniversary Jones’ 1966 state title high school team this past March. ~lw3
  11. (image via Getty Images) Rooks appeared briefly for the Hawks in 1996, playing 16 regular season games after being acquired in the Laettner-for-Spud trade deadline deal. Sean contributed 10 points in the Hawks' surprise upset win, 89-87, in the deciding Game 5 of the 1996 first-round playoff series at Indiana. ~lw3
  12. Istanbul, Turkey's Fenerbahce Ulker is in the Euroleague Final after defeating Spain's Laboral Kutxa Vitoria in overtime, during the Euroleague Final Four semifinal today. It's the first time any Turkish team made it this far in Euroleague play, with the Final Four coincidentally sponsored by Turkish Airlines. Our old friend Pero Antic now starts at center for Fenerbahce, alongside fellow ex-NBAer Ekpe Udoh who was shifted to the 4-spot. Pero was a Euroleague champ two years in a row (2012, 2013) with Greece's Olympiacos, before signing with the Hawks back in the summer of 2013. It's his first attempt at another Euroleague title since parting ways with Atlanta. Pero led Fener with 7 rebounds, plus he hit a pair of threes and gave the ol' tried-and-true perimeter fake in the first half, this one leading to an oop for fellow ex-NBAer Jan Vesely. The Euroleague Final, in Berlin, will be held on Sunday between Fenerbahce and probable-favorite CSKA Moscow. ~lw3
  13. Relax, Kobe. You're not playing Cleveland tonight. ~lw3
  14. Brooklyn went on to win 10 of their next 12 games after Childress' departure. "The new coach" was P.J. Carlesimo, who went on to finish 35-19 in Brooklyn, still the best in-season mark by any Nets coach in the past eight years. P.J. was let go after a first-round 4-3 playoff loss to the Bulls, paving the way for what they thought would be the triumphant return of Jason Kidd. ~lw3
  15. I'd have guessed wrong on both counts... The player Ivan lost out to? Charlie Villanueva. Congrats to Jared! ~lw3
  16. My favorite comment in an NBA Preview was from the late 1980s, when Sports Illustrated started putting one-liners next to players' names on projected rosters. On the Denver Nuggets' preview page they wrote, simply: "T.R. Dunn - Yes. He is." Somehow, perhaps due to his defensive reputation from years gone by, the 30+ year old Teddy Roosevelt Dunn continued playing, even as a starter for a couple years, averaging like 3.5 PPG before the Nuggets began to concur with that harsh-but-sweet assessment. I wonder aloud... who else among our former Hawks (from recent years) are "Dunn" in the NBA? At least as far as this upcoming season goes, if not for a career. Selecting players in the above poll suggests you believe so. You might add in the commentary which ones are unlikely to see the NBA floor (without becoming a ref or a towel boy) ever again. Perhaps they'll dabble in Europe or China or somewhere before hanging up the jersey for good. Alternatively, do you spot certain teams where any of these players could be a good fit in a deep-reserve capacity? If you were their agent, who would you be calling? I was left to choose no more than ten guys in the poll. But surely I've left a few recent names out. Etan Thomas? (keep your golf bag, please). Mario West? (not so fast, my friends!) (Aside: One more interesting side article, from Wages of Wins, about who is alleged to become "The Steal of Free Agency") ~lw3