--While some people are biting their nails in anticipation of the Hawks' ownership trial finally going back to court this week, NBA commissioner David Stern seemed happy things are moving forward.Just because they're in court, though, doesn't mean he sees an end to the dispute anytime soon.
"I think it's going to go on, it seems like it's going to be endless," Stern said of the trial during All-Star weekend in Phoenix. "But at least it's beginning to get defined. Now the trial will come and then undoubtedly there will be an appeal.
"But at least they are beginning to match it against some timeline, whatever it is. It's better to have the trial than to be in discovery. After the trial, when they get the appeals out of the way, hopefully it's moving along to some resolution."
The Hawks have actually managed to minimize the distraction of the ownership situation by playing a high-caliber brand of basketball for most of the season. Don't think their 31-21 record and current standing as one of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference has not gone unnoticed by Stern and others.
"The truth is," Stern said, "they are paying a lot of attention to the team, on the court, they are paying a lot of attention to the coaching and talent selection. But the fact that the owners are fighting with each other doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the product on the floor or the marketing of the team. And so, it's going fine in Atlanta. We're very happy with Atlanta. It's great to see the team doing so well."
--Josh Smith didn't grab a single rebound. Marvin Williams just three. And Al Horford had seven, to make sure someone in the Hawks' frontcourt showed up for Tuesday's game.
Beyond that, the Hawks' "big men" looked mighty small facing their Lakers counterparts all night. It wasn't a fair fight from a statistical standpoint.
How bad was it?
The Hawks had no idea they'd been ravaged on the boards as bad as they were until after the game.
"It just can't happen like that," Woodson said. "It's totally unacceptable for us to play like this and for our guys to watch rebounds coming off the rim and not compete for them."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "One thing about love is you can only control what you give out, not what you get in return. We gave love here. We played hard here. We came and we gave everything we had. And we gave them an opportunity to sign Joe up long term. They decided what we were looking for wasn't what they were looking for. So you have to move on. You can't be mad at anybody about that. It's a business. And the truth of the matter is this, Joe chose where he wanted to be. He decided Atlanta is the place he wanted to be at that time in his life. Everything since then has been a blessing, it really has." -- Joe Johnson's uncle, Mike Johnson, on why there was no ill will on his nephew's part toward the fans in Phoenix during All-Star weekend.