Archives For Will Bynum?
The recent police killings of Keith Scott and Terrence Crutcher have rocked this nation once again giving credence to the actions of San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick’s intentions are to challenge the sacred American flag that is supposed to represent equality and liberty. As an athlete he’s chosen not to take the easy route by counting his millions and staying silent like so many of his opposers would like for him to do. On one of the most exciting days in franchise history for basketball reasons, the Atlanta Hawks team chose not to remain silent on the current state of America.
“Hopefully we’ve started a conversation with our players, not just what’s going on with the national anthem but what’s happening in our country, said a thoughtful Coach Budenholzer Monday. We will be incredibly in support of our players. I think the more thoughtful– the more respectful we can be, if we are those two things our country can will be better.”
If anyone on the team ever needed to speak with a victim of police brutality face to face then Thabo Sefolosha would have plenty to talk about after his 2015 nightclub incident with the NYPD. Thabo was falsely accused, attacked (which led to a broken fibula and ligament damage to his ankle) and arrested outside 1 Oak’s nightclub where former Pacer Chris Copeland had been stabbed. So when Sefolosha saw the video footage of Terence Crtucher being gunned down, it immediately brought him back to that night in New York and caused him to feel fortunate.
“I think it’s been a problem and keeps happening and its sad to see. To be honest looking at some of the footage we see with the guy in Tulsa and charlotte I feel lucky to be here and be able to talk about what happened to me.”
Like Thabo, when veteran Jarrett jack first saw the shooting of Terrence Crutcher a sense of “oh not again” accompanied his other initial emotions.
“Man it’s a combination of things like confusion, anger and sadness Its hard to understand when you apply logic to the situation and try to understand where it causes for that type of force to be applied in these instances. You look at it and understand that it was wrong but then it becomes a constant situation where it’s becoming repetitive and we end up getting the same result. We get causality and someone that doesn’t seem to want to take the responsibility for the actions that were taken.
Those like Philando Castile, Alton Sterling,and the remaining 796 victims in 2016 unfortunately weren’t lucky enough to tell their story like Thabo. We will never hear their voices again, which prompts millions of Americans everywhere who feel silenced; to look to professional athletes like Kaepernick, to denounce injustice on a large platform. Three-point specialist Kyle Korver has embraced the responsibility to do just that whether people believe an athlete should or should not.
“It’s a great opportunity for athletes to have a voice in this. I guess some people say that we shouldn’t but there are a lot of people out there that have asked us to be role models. I think that there are problems in this country and that athletes can have a role in this conversation. Its up to us to continue to educate ourselves”
Not every athlete feels its necessary to speak about this particular issue. A stance Michael Jordan was greatly criticized for taking throughout his career until this summer when he ended his silence in a self written piece for ESPN’s undefeated. Charles Barkley’s “I am not a role model” commercial in 1993 sparked many debates around the country on whether or not athletes are unfairly burdened with pressures to always conform to the opinions of the people.
Hawks rookie Taurean Prince has chosen to take this route for the time being not solely because he may feel it’s not an athletes place, but more so a lack of personal experience.
“Man I worry about me and mines, I worry about what I can do to control the things that I can control in my life. Obviously that stuff has affected the people of my culture but at the same time it hasn’t affected me personally so I really don’t get into that stuff. I just shut my mouth and keep it moving until it directly affects me or my family then I’ll decide to speak on it”
Recent signee Will Bynum, a Chicago native, at 33 years old surely has plenty first hand experience of witnessing police conducting themselves inappropriately. But For Bynum he’s looking at all that factors that stricken his cities socioeconomic path towards peace. When your government officials fail the education system, when the culture of policing views you as a number instead of a human being, when family structures are fragile, you end up with a sense of loss hope that becomes contagious. In Bynum’s eyes those who are fortunate enough to leave, secure their families financially and reach a high level of success should make time to return to their neighborhood to instill belief.
“As far as the successful guys that come from the city, they have to come back. A lot of guys get out of it and then they don’t come back, but its what we should do, said a passionate Bynum. We come from there and only we can articulate what’s really going on, because nobody really understands us. Like they are saying we can shut down every single public school, but they do not understand these kids in the radius of five blocks are crossing 5 different gangs so they are not going to go to school. Especially if your mother is working 9-5 everyday, she cant make you be there, so its critical we provide more opportunities for the city and guys like myself come back and give the knowledge that it took to make it out”
Full interview with Will Bynum here
In a city with one of the highest African-American population in the country, in the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, a community that never hesitates to protest when they sense inequality; this Hawks team has already taken this issue head on a month before the season begins. Media day for Atlanta could of easily been consumed by the acquisition of Dwight, Kent Bazemore deciding to return, Dennis Schroder becoming a starter; but more importantly these players looked eager and prepared to discuss a topic that’s very emotional to those susceptible to it every single day of their lives. Athletes who are socially and outspoken used to be taboo throughout American history,now its imperative.
“As athletes we stand for equality and treating everyone fairly. Thats what this hawks organization is about”, said a confident Kris Humphries
A. Horford (ATL): 18 pts, 15 reb, 3 ast
A. Daye (DET): 20 pts, 6 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]
Despite the Hawks playing terrible for most of the game, it actually became an extremely fun contest near the end. With a little over six left in the fourth, Andre Drummond committed a technical foul when the Pistons were up 83-66. The Hawks then used a 16-0 run, largely behind Al Horford and Kyle Korver, to bring the game to within one. However, the Pistons were able to luck it out, as they got a bucket from Rodney Stuckey, and saw a jumper from Al Horford, that was called a three on the floor, be reviewed back to a two. The Hawks had one final chance at the end, but Lou Williams shot a three of the side of the backboard to seal it for Detroit.
Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]
Josh Smith: Josh is doing too much of this lately: play a strong first quarter, get complacent in the 2nd quarter and beyond, with his contributions being limited compared to what they should be. His love of the jumper was part of the reason the Hawks were outscored by 19 points during a stretch in the first and second quarters, and then he wasn’t on the floor for the 16-0 run during the fourth due to an aggravated hip flexor. Not a great night for Smoove despite the 20 points. 5.5/10
Al Horford: YGTMYFTs is a phrase I’m using increasingly on Twitter. It stands for “you’ve got to make your free throws”. Take note Al, as those three freebies you bricked were the difference in the game. Of course, you probably should have had more than three chances at the line, and you were so shocked when you actually got there, that you didn’t know what to do. Otherwise, Al had a great night, and probably could have had more than 18 points if he just pulled the trigger more often on open jumpers. 8/10
Lou Williams: Lou’s five threes were a large reason that the Hawks were able to stay in this one, and he actually had some pretty useful passes in this one, but he did a pretty poor job on defense at times. Also, if we’re running iso-Lou, and he’s not making shots or getting to the line, then we should probably stop running iso-Lou. 6.5/10
Kyle Korver: Kyle did hit two very important threes late, including a pull-up 30-footer, but I can’t help but think how different this game would have been if he didn’t start out the game 0-5 from the behind the arc. He did contribute in other areas like passing and defense, but when you’re getting that many open threes set up specifically because of your talents, then you need to hit them. 6/10
Jeff Teague: Jeff has an impressive streak going over committing a couple of turnovers that make you think, “what on earth were you planning to accomplish there?” He did have nine assists, but also had five turnovers, and was less than impressive on defense. He also couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with his shots. 4/10 Continue Reading…
J. Smith (ATL): 31 pts, 10 reb, 6 ast
W. Bynum (DET): 31 pts, 4 reb, 4 asts
[FULL BOX SCORE]
Is there a such a thing as a bad win? The Hawks did have a 22 point lead in the fourth, but Will Bynum evaporated that with his 20-point fourth quarter. The two teams then went back and fourth in the overtimes, with Jeff Teague finally powering the Hawks through in the second OT period. As Larry Drew said post-game, the Hawks still have to work on their killer instinct (85 Piston bench points?) and free throws, because performances like this are going to come back and bite them at some point. They can’t afford to be outrebounded 62-47 on most nights, either.
Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]
Josh Smith: Josh was absolutely unstoppable for the first three quarters. He several dunks, a few nice post moves, and was even hitting his jumpers. However, he didn’t do much in the last 22 minutes of the game, going 0-7 in the fourth and two OTs. He had some critical defensive plays, including a probable goaltend on Will Bynum that wasn’t called. His did have some key passes in that stretch, but he could have easily had 40 in this one. 8/10
Al Horford: Horford had a quiet 22 and 10, but the loudest thing he did was missing key free throws late in the game. This game actually could have been over in regulation if Horford had hit a free throw when there was only a second left. Drummond also destroyed him on the boards. 8/10
Kyle Korver: Can’t be 2-11 on shots when most of the looks you are getting are wide-open. In fact, I’m pretty sure Tayshaun Prince was taken out of the game in the first quarter because of how many easy looks Kyle was getting. 2/10
Jeff Teague: Jeff’s performance in that second overtime is why the Hawks won this game, but he needs to stay aggressive the whole game on offense. I like the 17 points and 11 assists, but he became passive in that fourth quarter that saw the Hawks get outscored by a margin of 39-20. Oh, and he couldn’t stay in front of Will Bynum. Whoops. 6/10 Continue Reading…