Josh Smith: Captain

by September 29, 2010

Larry Drew, Atlanta’s new head coach, named Smoove one of the co-captains on the Hawks, because Smith promised to behave going forward (following a little pep talk … with himself). The AJC reports: “The erratic, emotional forward prone to  demonstrative outbursts when things don’t go his way? The first Hawks player who came to mind when you heard about the league instructing officials to crack down on expressions of displeasure? The player who sometimes gives up on plays when he’s frustrated by officials? Josh Smith as captain? ‘That was something that was concern of mine, as well, then I was thinking about it,’ L.D. said. ‘I had a conversation with him about that. He told me, ‘Look, Coach, I spent time this summer talking to myself about that. I know I have to do a better job in that.’ I’m hoping that with this responsibility that he will look at things a little differently. It puts him in a different light. Some of those behaviors that he has had on the floor, you just can’t do that anymore. I am hoping that giving him more of a responsibility will steer his thinking in a whole different direction.’ If you are looking for some early specifics about the difference in approach between L.D. and [Mike Woodson], this is a big one. In my time on the beat, Woody never publicly rebuked Smoove for his outbursts. His style was to instead handle such matters internally during film sessions and in private talks. When public criticism of Josh reached a pitch after Hubie Brown’s comments about Josh during the Orlando series, Woody vehemently defended Josh. By naming Josh captain and saying he needs to change his on-court demeanor, L.D. is putting very public expectations on him. Smoove said he’s ready for the responsibility. ‘I have to take a different approach to this season,’ he said. ‘I definitely have to carry myself in a whole different fashion because when you are captain you have to be more of a leader. I have to lead by example. I am an emotional player, obviously. Everybody knows that. But [I] just kind of have to hold my emotions together and just play basketball and stay positive throughout the game, no matter what happens.'”