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Monday, March 11th, 2013 at 9:30 am  |  18 responses

Josh Smith Says it’s Difficult to Play in Atlanta


The Atlanta Hawks didn’t trade star forward Josh Smith despite the swirling, and endless rumors. But with his impending free agency this summer, there are serious doubts about Smith’s future with the Hawks. Due to a lack of strong fan support, Josh admits that playing in Atlanta isn’t the easiest thing. Per the NY Daily News: “It is a little difficult (playing in Atlanta),’ said Smith, an Atlanta native. ‘Last year like I was telling everybody, we were ranked No. 1 worst sports town in the United States. It was just the whole city, baseball, football – but football always has a crazy fanbase – it is a little bit difficult. But hopefully we can turn it around sooner than later.’ Smith isn’t making this up. Atlanta has the worst fan support in the country, according to Forbes, having supplanted Seattle in last year’s dubious rankings. It seemed fitting that about an hour after our conversation with Smith he played in a half-empty Philips Arena, where the Hawks’ effort matched the atmosphere in a lifeless 93-80 loss to the Nets. Smith wasn’t saying success or popularity was impossible in Atlanta. It’s just ‘a little bit difficult’ when the team isn’t getting support, despite five straight playoff appearances. The Nets of New Jersey could relate. Smith used Oklahoma City as an example of a team ‘bringing global attractions to a small city. …But you have to have those big names like the Kevin Durant’s and Russell Westbrook’s.’”

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  • Caboose

    I mean, he has a point…

  • http://www.facebook.com/devin.williams1 Devin Williams

    He cant wait to leave them lol

  • TBRK

    seriously, I spent the first 14 years of my life in Atlanta….This city has no respect at all for this team….whatsoever. I remember back in middle school and elementary when the principal used to hand out tickets like candy to students who were on A-B honor roll….and seriously you would see a bunch of tickets laying in the trash can lol. Atlanta is the absolute worst basketball city in the country, and its a shame because there are a lot of talented hoopers that come from there and a lot of people who love the game….just nobody cares about the Hawks. Going to a Hawks game in Atlanta was like the starter date for a 12 year old and his girlfriend….and even during the playoffs Hawk’s games are like the nightlife appetizer before everybody goes out and hits up Club 112…..no passion for this squad at all

  • spit hot fiyah

    pretty sad, they have always had some pretty good teams, at least entertaining. from Nique’s era to the mutombo/smith/blaylock era to the josh smith era.

  • roscoe

    And to think the bottom of the list fan base “Seattle” is taking away a loyal-die-hard team.

    Poor SAC fans… they deserve better. How about a rodeo?

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    That’s just sad.

  • ATL dynamite

    Sad as a Hawks fan. No matter how good you feel about your squad, the empty seats in Philip’s Arena are always there. Sigh.

  • RayJr

    Wow with so many players coming from the ATL I would’ve never thought this. When me and my friends were that young we would’ve jumped on tickets if we lived in an area with a pro team. Hell, we used to jump on tickets for a AAA baseball game if they were given to us for free. What a shame.

  • RayJr

    Translation: He gone!

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    at least Smith realizes he isn’t a big name.

  • JML-G

    too bad that Hawks team didnt achieve anything serious.. only a matter of time Al Horford will want to leave too

  • Comment_System

    that is why I want horford to get the hell out of there as well and go to the bulls. But, thats just a wish at this point.

  • jub_al

    but he thinks he’s a max player… and he thinks Dwight is a loyal teammate who doesn’t run away from situations… such an enigma Josh Smith is…

  • mrveggieman

    I blame hawks management and phillips areana. Instead of embracing their fans they treat them like intruders. For example if you pay your money to get in and try to get autographs before the game they act like you are going to try to steal one of the ballplayers away from the areana. No one wants to pay their hard earned money and be disrespected by areana employees. Atlanta is a nice sized city and their are plenty of other things to do in the city besides deal with phillips areana and their knucklehead ushers and sercuity.

  • bill

    Seattle should buy THIS team not Sac’s…Sac’s fan base is awesome no matter how sh itty they are.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i didn’t say at least he’s usually reasonable lol

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    alot of ni66as on the downlow in the A

  • what

    We haven’t had a superstar in this city since Dominique Wilkins. There is an entire generation of ATLiens who have never seen a Hawks team with a superstar on it. It’s not that hard to figure out why fan support is minimal. And as much as Josh Smith might think he is that superstar, he isn’t anywhere close.

    There are a LOT of NBA fans in Atlanta. Most of them pull for the Heat, Bulls, Knicks, Celtics, and Lakers. That’s not going to change unless the Hawks win the 2014 lottery and pick Wiggins.

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