The Atlanta Hawks. They're basically the Los Angeles Dodgers of the NBA. Every single year it seems that they put together a fantastic regular season, only to burn out in the playoffs. But despite their misfortunes, it's undeniable that they have had some tremendous talent roll through ATL. Whether that be guys they drafted, or guys they were able to bring in via trade or free agency, the Hawks have been able to make the necessary moves to consistently be in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
So in a time of reflection, I'm going to dive in and create an All-Century team (2000-2016) for the Atlanta Hawks, including a starting 5 and a 6th man. Moving forward, we will be doing these types of articlse for every NBA team, so be on the lookout.
PG - Jason Terry
I actually forgot the Jet played for the Hawks at one point. When you think of Jason Terry, you immediately think of his time in Dallas. But Terry was a Hawk at one point, and he was pretty damn good there. Once Jet left ATL, he pretty much became a role player from that point on. He would always seem to get starter minutes in big games, but still was a role player by all regards. In Atlanta, the sharpshooter averaged 16.2 PPG and 5.5 APG in his 5-year Atlanta career. And we all know the clutch gene that JET has possessed.
SG - Joe Johnson
I'm a big Joe Johnson fan. He's just so clutch and has the ability to rise up and drill jumpers over people all the time. Oh, and he's got a pretty good handle on the ball. He even made a fool out of one of my all-time favorite players, Paul Pierce, with an insane low-dribble move that had Pierce falling to the ground before Johnson sunk the jumper for Brooklyn. However, this is about his days in Atlanta, where Johnson averaged 20.7 PPG over the course of a 7-year Hawks career. The man consistently came up with big shot after big shot, en route to a very successful Hawks career.
SF - Kyle Korver
Only one of the better shooters the game has ever seen. Well, at least in terms of consistency. Kyle Korver is a guy that sneaks in the starting lineup because of his reliability to knock down 3-pointers. Now, Korver has only averaged 10.9 points in his 5-year Hawks career, but he is also a 45.3% 3-point shooter since becoming a Hawk. And when he catches fire, he's good to drop 30+ on you. You have to keep tabs on Kyle Korver, and since many don't, he's been able to have a pretty successful career.
PF - Josh Smith
Talk about a guy destined for greatness. J Smoove, Josh Smith, was an absolute stud when he burst onto the scene in ATL to begin his career. He even won the dunk contest in 2005, beating out JR Smith. What ultimately did Smith in was his unbelievable desire to chalk up the 3 ball. But when he was with the Hawks, Smith balled out. He averaged 15.3 PPG and 8 RPG in his 9-year career with Atlanta as a high-flying, fun to watch power forward. He gets the nod at the starting 4.
C - Al Horford
This one was a given, Al Horford. The man who could do a little bit of everything when he was with the Hawks. Even stretched his game out to behind the line to add another weapon to his arsenal. Horford played for the Hawks for the first 9 seasons of his career, before signing a max contract with the Celtics this past offseason. In Atlanta, Horford average 14.3 PPG and 8.9 RPG, and a lot of playoff experience that, us Celtics fans, hopes translates to a deeper run this year. Horford and his consistency, and his overall attitude makes him the sure-fire pick to be the starting center.
6th Man - Jamal Crawford
Crawford only played for the Hawks for 2 years, and never started, but still cracks the 6th man slot on the All-Century team. Here's why: Crawford, while not a starter, was very durable (played 155 out of a possible 164 games) and has one of the nicest crossovers in the league to this day. But back then, Jamal was a beast and, like Jason Terry in Dallas, played starting minutes in big games and always seemed to rise to the occasion. Crawford averaged 16.1 PPG in his 2 seasons in ATL, and cracks my list as the 6th man for the All-Century team.
Honorable Mentions: Jeff Teague, Mike Bibby, and Za Za Pachulia
Coming next, my All-Century team for the Boston Celtics.