Atlanta Hawks: End Quotes
On New Year’s Resolutions and giving back.
by Tracy Weissenberg / @basketballista
Johnson’s Big Assist
The Atlanta Hawks held a gift exchange during Wednesday’s game against the Warriors. Fans could bring unwanted gifts to exchange for ticket vouchers and the gifts would be donated to The Salvation Army. The promotion prompted a reporter to ask Hawks guard Joe Johnson if he ever received any gifts he couldn’t wait to get rid of.
“You know what, honestly no,” says Johnson, “Everything I got, man I enjoyed it or I tried to make the best of it. I was grateful for anything that was up under that tree that had my name on it. I took none of it for granted.”
Johnson recently held “JJ’s Santa-Lanta for Kids” event to benefit members of the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta. It is a cause that he feels close to, since Johnson was a member of the William E. Thrasher Boys & Girls Club while growing up in Little Rock, Arkansas.
It is nice when a story comes full circle, and Johnson is doing his part to continue the cycle of opportunity and encouragement. On being in the position to give back to the organization that gave to him, Johnson says, “It means a lot man, I grew up in a Boys and Girls Club and I could understand those kids’ situations coming up and going to the Boys and Girls club whether it’s just for activities or studying or what have you. So I just kind of wanted to share my side with them and just let them know that I’m here for them and just try to give them some type of inspiration.”
Johnson was introduced to basketball at the Boys & Girls Club—and we can all see how that has worked out for him. “That’s where I first started playing. It’s done wonders for me. Not only that, but I studied for the ACT there and it helped me pass the ACT. It’s a great thing and I advise a lot of kids if they’re not in Boys and Girls Club they should join one,” he says.
New Year’s Resolutions
Joe Johnson: “Yeah, I do have some New Year’s resolutions. One that just really sticks out is just to say what’s on my mind. You know, I may just be blunt about it. Whenever ya’ll ask me something, I’m just gonna be straight up, it’s just how I feel.”
I don’t know if we’re ready for that, I said.
“Yeah, I don’t know if you’re all ready for it neither, but it’s coming baby, it’s coming.”
Marvin Williams: “I usually don’t make ‘em cause I always break ‘em. I found over the years no point in making them.”
What are some you’ve made in the past?
“Oh man, I’ve wanted to eat better. I think one that I have made that I did actually like was I want to call my grandma more often. And I’ve actually been doing a pretty good job of that the last couple of years so that’s probably the only one I’ve stuck with.”
Jamal Crawford: “Just make it a better year than it was last year, that’s it.”
Mo Evans: “I don’t really do all the resolutions and stuff, just try and be the best person I can be all the time.”
Jordan Crawford: “I haven’t even really thought of one…just maintain, that’s my resolution, to maintain…I just always wanted to go into the year positive really.”
Josh Powell: “Be a better man, father, everything.”
Damien Wilkins (no New Year’s resolution yet but a few words on his time with the Hawks) : “I like the fact I’m on a winning and relevant team, that’s what I like more than anything. Every night I’m on a team that got a chance to win on any given night. That means more to me than anything so I’m happy about that.”
Jeff Teague: “Keep doing everything I was doing better than I usually does.”
Jeff told me he quoted the Juelz Santana song “Changes” for his resolution. Props for the creativity…I’ll leave you all with a few lines from the song:
Happy New Year people (people)
The ball done dropped, guess you can say the new year’s legal (yep)
… my resolution was (what)
Do everything I been doing, better than I usually does (yep)
To everyone at SLAMonline: have a very happy, healthy and safe New Year!