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News » Smith starts for Hawks

Smith starts for Hawks

Smith starts for Hawks
ATLANTA (AP) - Hawks coach Mike Woodson and forward Josh Smith aren't interested in discussing the details of their latest feud.

Both smiled as they met briefly with reporters before Atlanta's game against Detroit on Saturday, but their feelings were raw after the Hawks' loss at Charlotte the night before.

An alleged shouting match between Woodson and Smith in the Atlanta locker room led the coach to bench his 23-year-old forward for the second half.

Whatever the cause of their argument, Woodson had Smith in the starting lineup against the Pistons. The coach indicated Smith wouldn't face a suspension or fine.

"No comment," Woodson said. "We're going to move forward. It has been resolved. He will be back in the lineup playing tonight. It happens. That's all I can tell you. It happens. "

A few minutes later, Smith said he and Woodson respect each other as professionals.

"The past is the past, and the present is now," Smith said. "I'm enjoying life and my teammates. Everything's good and I'm ready to get back to work."

Smith, an Atlanta native drafted No. 17 overall out of high school by the Hawks in 2004, signed a $58 million contract last summer to stay with his hometown team. He has played his entire NBA career under Woodson, who has a 140-250 record with the Hawks.

On April 10, 2007, former general manager Billy Knight suspended Smith for two games after he cursed out Woodson during a loss to Philadelphia.

Their disagreements were evident again last Sunday, when Woodson held out Smith for the final 8 minutes of a home loss to Cleveland.

"Whatever goes on in the locker room goes on in the locker room between us," Smith said before Atlanta faced the Pistons. "As players and coaches, this is not our demeanor and this is not what we're going to do. You can ask all the questions you want to ask about last night, but you're probably not going to get answers from anybody."

Atlanta had lost two straight and three of four before Saturday. Smith has averaged 15 points and 6.9 rebounds in 49 games.

Woodson is ready to move on.

"As a coach, I think I dealt with it the best way I can, and now it's time to move forward," Woodson said. "I've never held grudges against my players. I'm going to push these guys as a coach and try to see if they can help us win basketball games. I think that's what it's all about."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: March 8, 2009


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