--For weeks, Hawks coach Mike Woodson kept his political feelings to himself, waiting for Tuesday night's historic presidential election to play out before exhaling himself.By Wednesday morning, after having stayed up all night watching the results come in on various networks, the most momentous historical occasion of his life had finally taken place.
"As a kid growing up you never would have ever thought; not in my lifetime, that you'd see a black man be president," Woodson said of Barack Obama's being voted to office as the 44th president of the United States. "I come from a big family and have a host of older brothers and sisters and we talked about it all day. They never thought in their lifetime they'd see it happen. It's not just about being black. I just think people wanted changes.
"And that's not to say he doesn't have a lot of things, a lot of problems he'll be facing. But I think the right man won. It's a good time for all people to see something like this happen in our lifetime."
--Pete Radulovic, the Hawks' assistant coach for player performance, has a connection to Obama that dates back decades. They are both graduates of the prestigious Punahou School in Hawaii, the largest single independent school in the U.S. and the oldest west of the Mississippi River. Obama graduated in 1979 and Radulovic in 1985, but the buzz surrounding Obama's meteoric rise to political and global fame has been the talk of the Punahou alumni for the past few years.
"Whether you agree with his policies or not, whether you're a conservative or a liberal, what you see with him is what you get," Radulovic said. "He's a good person and he cares about people. That was the attitude ingrained in us in school. He was a senior when I was in seventh grade, so it's not like we interacted with each other. It's a huge campus, with (3,760 students) from kindergarten through high school. But just seeing him now and listening to what he has to say, you can see that he carried with him that sense of responsibility to take care of people and to do your part that has always been fostered at Punahou."
--Just three games into their season, the Hawks have already made road trips to Orlando and now to New Orleans. Mike Woodson said his team couldn't have asked for a better early-season test than the one they're facing this month. 10 of the Hawks' first 16 games are on the road.
"We'll see where we are facing teams like this on the road," he said. "There's no question about that. We'll see where we stand."
After three games the Hawks are standing tall at 3-0 for the first time in more than a decade.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "They played harder than we did. They were more aggressive. More physical. The M.O. on our team from last year was 'beat them up.' And that's basically what they did. They took liberties against us and we took a step back because we accepted it instead of fighting fire with fire. Sometimes, you just got to step up and be a man." -- Hornets coach Byron Scott calling out his team after they were slapped around by the Hawks.