by Micah Hart
Most of the time, professional athletes are supposed to take the criticism of the media in stride. It comes with the territory, after all – you put yourself in the spotlight, you have to take the coverage that comes with it.
The Hawks have seen their share of negative coverage this postseason for their erratic play and have rarely reacted, but when Orlando Sentinel writer Mike Bianchi refered to them as “Birdbrains” in a column before Game 6, it seemed some on the team had had enough.
Which had to make the team’s series-clinching win Thursday night, perhaps the most surprising result of the first round (pending a Grizzlies upset of the Spurs, though Charles Barkley at least picked that one), that much more gratifying. Isn’t that right, Josh Smith:
I wish I could bottle and sell the Smith’s satisfaction in uttering those words: “In. Your. Face.” And the delivery? Leslie Nielsen in his prime would have been jealous of that deadpan.