Josh Smith Says it’s Difficult to Play in Atlanta

by March 11, 2013

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.'”