As word came down Thursday night that Terry Stotts had been relieved of his duties as Hawks front man, the news wasn?t as shocking as maybe the timing of the firing was to people that have watched this team closely.
Most who were there towards the end of the season saw a coach that wasn?t being endorsed as the future or maybe even the present solution for the team and while he was respected by new ownership and likely even General Manager Billy Knight, Stotts wasn?t likely to be the guy that the team was going to move on with, leaving his situation as lame duck as it gets.
We thought aloud that it would be surprising if Stotts was left as coach longer than a week after the season ended, allowing for a head start on coaching searches with most other teams pinned down by their own new coaches or by the playoffs. Some sources speculated that, indeed, one week might be all the time needed to evaluate the future and to let Stotts know that, despite his good efforts, that the team was ready to start anew.
The Doc Rivers hiring by the playoff swept Boston Celtics sent shockwaves through the city and Hawks fans. Rivers was the popular candidate on the rumor mill and seemed to fit the ownership group mantra of ?attitude and gratitude?, tying the team?s past with the team?s future.
But the sudden hiring of Rivers and the not-so-sudden decision on whether or not to let Stotts go seemed to indicate that either or neither Rivers nor the Hawks wanted such an arrangement. With that event, it seemed to indicate that maybe Stotts wasn?t going anywhere, a sentiment shared by Hawks fans, to little anger which was surprising.
The odd timing has got Jason Walker answering some of the likely questions regarding this move, such as who will coach, why now, and why not Doc Rivers?