It’s a Wednesday night in Chicago and I’m hanging out with two of my friends at their 26th floor apartment listening to 2 Chainz because tonight we are young. We’re throwing back Papa John’s like it’s our job to do so. We’re also watching the Hawks and the Nuggets play. My two friends are both proud Georgia Tech alumni so both of them, as a byproduct of running the streets of Atlanta for several years, are Hawks fans. They asked me to come over and watch the game with them and I said yes because I like both these dudes as people very much and everyone needs to break a little bred over some basketball with chill southerners before they die. Basketball viewing with fellas from the south is a chill vibe, my chilly chillbros. Please trust that.
The game is about to start, and then someone, either in the room or on the TV, says the words “Danny” and “Ferry”.
Some lost southern poet once said, “Welcome to Atlanta, where the playas play.”
Yet another poet with deep roots in the deep south once insisted that everyone, “Shake it like a Polaroid picture.”
Danny Ferry must have loved those poems. He must have read them every night while he was in between jobs after the Cavs dumped him. He probably popped in old Duke tapes, reminded himself he was worth something, and got to work passing out resumes.
Once Atlanta scooped him up, he must have recited the poems in the mirror to get pumped up to talk to other GM’s and Free Agents this offseason like Yul Brenner had Junior do in Cool Runnings when Junior wanted to go home because he was worried about shaming his father. If you haven’t seen it, first, what on earth is wrong with you? Second, take the twelve year olds outta the room because it’s about to get all PG-13 up in here.
Setting: The bathroom of a bar on country, line-stepping night. (Doug E. Doug shuts it down)
Clothing: A lot of purple and orange and yellow and green and red. Native American patterns. Super fresh adjustable multi-colored hats. Sweaters and turtlenecks for days. So, just, all of the 90’s.
I see pride.
I see power.
I see a bad-slangwordforbottom mutha, who won’t take no crap off nobody.
(In my dream world Danny Ferry doesn’t say “Danny Ferry” as he storms off, but instead just says “Junior Bevil”)
Danny Ferry went to Hotlanta in the offseason, and he shook things up. He did so after many in the basketball world questioned his ability to put together a winner. Course, that’s what happens when you have a 260 pound rhinoceros on your team that can do everything there is to do on a basketball floor and you still can’t win a ring. Yes, that rhino shrunk in certain moments. For sure. But when you have games where you’re counting on Boobie Gibson to take and make big shots for you, then something is kind of really, very wrong.
Sidebar: Like to take a minute here to say that if anyone is ever counting on anyone with the nickname Boobie to come through for them, in any capacity, you need to reevaluate your life. Maybe get back into shape. Go back to school. Start dating again. Whatever happened to those paintings you used to do?
But Ferry has pride and Hotlanta gave him power and instead of taking crap, he started to give it away. The Joe Johnson contract that everyone thought was un-tradeable is in New Jersey now. He had Marvin Williams, the former number two overall pick who never became the guy his pedigree or Roy Williams said he would, peace out and go to Utah in return for Devin Harris. He went and signed Master of the Fourth Quarter (if you have no scorers on your team), Lou Williams. He picked up Canon spokesperson, Kyle Korver.
Basically, he did a whole bunch of stuff. A whole, whole bunch of stuff. He took a team that was going to wallow in the four to six seed range of the Eastern Conference playoffs for the next half decade and gave them a couple things that they haven’t had in awhile: Flexibility and Hope. And he did all this while keeping them relevant.
They beat the Nugs in this game I took in with my Yellow Jacket bros, so they’re 10-5 and second in the Southeast division behind that team in Miami who has that guy who goes to barber shops and has his kids draw red hair on pictures of him. Yea, they’re still a team that looks like a second round playoff exit fits them like a glove. They’ve only got three players under contract next year and they’re deciding what to do with Josh Smith. To pay for an athletic freak of nature who can get you a triple double on any given night, or to not pay for a guy who settles for jumpers WAY too much? That is the question. And there’s a lot of other questions, too.
Maybe he’s going to try to make a play for the hometown homey of Southwest Atlanta Christian Acamedy, The Grand Misser of Free Throws aka The Grand Flasher of Fake Smiles, Dwight Howard? Maybe he’s trying to lure Chris Paul down ATL way on the off chance he doesn’t want to play for the worst owner in sports anymore? Would you leave me if your father found out I was thuggin’? (You’ll never guess which one of those is just a 50 Cent lyric).
But, despite the questions, what I’m saying is, there’s a vision. That’s clear. And not only is it a vision, because anybody with a solid optometrist can have vision (shouts out to Bill Parker of York Street Family Eye Clinic in Muskogee, OK). This vision for the Hawks, Ferry’s, it may just turn out to be a vision with some legs.
*No 2 Chainz were harmed during the writing of this column.