Atlanta Hawks Getting Inside 2008-05-22

Barack Obama's campaign theme of "Change" applies to the Hawks as well.

Change is coming, already has if you count the resignation of general manager Billy Knight after six years.

More change is coming.

Personnel changes, attitude changes, philosophy changes and just about anything else that could be changed is on the menu.

Hawks coach Mike Woodson, however, isn't going anywhere. By guiding the Hawks to a Game 7 against Boston in their first-round playoff series, Woodson saved his own hide -- his 106-222 record after four seasons trumped by his team's postseason rush.

"Mike deserves an opportunity to see what he can do with this team," Hawks part owner Michael Gearon Jr. said while discussing Knight's resignation.

The Hawks' personnel changes could include new addresses for forwards Josh Smith (a distinct possibility) and Josh Childress (not as likely). It could also mean a wholesale swapping of the reserves other than Childress and Zaza Pachulia.

Woodson's staff could look vastly different by training camp, as both Larry Drew and David Fizdale will both be in high demand this summer.

"It's a strange day," Smith said after hearing of the resignation of Knight, the man who put together the entire roster. "I don't know what to make of what's going on right now. I do know that I feel for BK. He drafted all of us and watched us all grow the past four years, and for him not to be a part of it anymore just doesn't feel right to me."

There's a whole lot more that might not feel right by the time training camp begins.

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: The Hawks' hair-raising run to Game 7 against Boston in their first round playoff series woke up a slumbering fan base and put the rest of the league on notice. The Hawks showed the world that there is more to the franchise than just a dysfunctional ownership group and mixed up front office crew. There's also some talent on hand.

TURNING POINT: Mike Bibby's acquisition at the trade deadline changed things dramatically for the Hawks. They went 16-17 with Bibby in the lineup and ended an eight-year playoff drought with Bibby at the controls. The veteran point guard provided everything the Hawks needed to get to the postseason but fell flat against the Celtics.



Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 22, 2008