The Atlanta Hawks who had the second best record in the NBA just two seasons ago and held the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference last season. They made some huge changes this offseason. These changes included losing two of their top three scorers in Jeff Teague and Al Horford, but they received Dwight Howard, who decided to come back home.
We all know Dwight used to be one of the most dominant players in the NBA, but his career has slightly declined due to injuries and misfitting with previous teams. Whether Atlanta will be that place to re-spark his career is left to be seen, however, he’s excited to be there and so is his new teammate Kent Bazemore, who had some questionable remarks in a recent interview via Basketball Insiders:
“They brought in Dwight Howard, who is one of the most dominant centers of all-time and poised for a breakout year. He seems super hungry. I’ve chatted with him a few times and he seems like he’s ready to get after it. It’s a situation for him where, unlike in L.A. and unlike in Houston, this is going to be his team. We’ll work off of him. We understand that he’s been to the NBA Finals and played on some great teams. We’re looking for him to be a leader for us, and I think he can do it. Him coming back home and being comfortable here, I think that makes a world of a difference.”
Now, I understand that Kent Bazemore is excited and wants Dwight Howard to feel like he’s at home, but Kent may have put his foot in his mouth. For starters, similar to that of the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors, the Atlanta Hawks run a very fluid offense that doesn’t require the title of whose team it is. Also, Dwight Howard has been known as a ball stopper, so we don’t even know if this will be a good fit for him.
And last but not least, when Bazemore decided to don the Hawks Howard’s team, did their leading scorer last season ever cross his mind? Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 17.1 points and 9 rebounds per game last season and has been a leader on their team ever since his arrival in 2013. So if the Hawks were going to be anyone’s team, shouldn’t that title go to Millsap?
Kent Bazemore was way out of bounds here making an unnecessary statement that could be taken as offensive to some of his current teammates. The Hawks are far from being Howard’s team and he has a lot to prove if he wants that burden on his plate.