Hawks fans remember the heartbreakersCNNSI.com looked at a few of the transactions that made Hawks fans shout, "Say It Ain't So." Then we opened the mailbag and let users vent on those and other dirty deals from over the years. Here is a sampling of your reactions:
During my teen years in the 1980s in Georgia, nothing was more fun than to have the Human Highlight Film, a UGA product, lead our Hawks into so many electrifying contests against the Lakers, Celtics and Pistons. It became almost a pride issue with many Hawks fans to take heart in the fact that 'Nique also grew up in Georgia. I saw him go for 50-plus points on numerous occasions, bought the Reebok Pump Hoops shoes when he endorsed them, had posters of him pictured in mid-air when he was winning slam dunk contests with double pump and windmill dunks, and had two or three different Hawks t-shirts that I always wore to games.
Where I said: "Say It Ain't So"? Trading our future Hall of Famer (and he was ROBBED for not being on the 50 Greatest list) for L.A. Clipper Danny Manning. It was the worst treatment for a hometown hero such as 'Nique to be sent (in exile) to the league's worst franchise for a barely-above-mediocre player. It is a move that no Hawks fans still support or tolerate, and it is embarrassing to treat such an ambassador of our state like that. It hurt even most recently to see 'Nique come home to have his jersey retired, and know that (even in our hearts he was always a Hawk) we dumped on him like that.
While I still follow the Hawks, I go to only about one game a year or so now since the 'Nique blunder. While our team is really struggling, we may also have the worst front office in the league, which was really highlighted by the 'Nique blunder. It's unbelieveable that Stan Kasten still has a job.
But my favorite front office blunder came when Robert Parrish was coming out of Centenary. The Hawks needed a center. They traded their early first-round draft pick to Portland for Geoff Petrie and Steve Hawes and their later first-round pick. They were hoping Parrish would still be around for the 7th or 8th pick, but he was drafted two picks ahead. I don't remember who the Hawks drafted, but Geoff Petrie never wore a Hawks uniform (he retired) and Steve Hawes was a journeyman center. I liked Hawes, but he was no Robert Parrish.
When Dominique Wilkins was traded from the Atlanta Hawks, I was devastated. To this day, I still don't feel that the Hawks are "my" team because of the way they treated the heart of the team, 'Nique, and for Danny Manning of all people! The trade was worthless as far as I am concerned and to this day Atlanta has still not won a championship, they are worse than ever. I will always love Dominique and to me he was the Hawks.
I'm still upset about the Hawks trading Dominique to the lousy Clippers for weak Danny Manning in the '94-95 season. You don't trade your franchise player, who's been toiling for 12 years on not so good teams, who's been surrounded by not so great talent in the middle of a winning season. They were leading the Central Division that year. They wound up winning the division earning the #1 seed in the playoffs.
So what do they do? Struggle to beat the Heat in 5 games and bow out to the Pacers in the second round. Horrible.
You go to the playoffs with the man that got you there and deserved to be there after all those years of mediocrity.