During his introductory press conference on Monday, new Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce talked about his passion for defense, and indicated that he’ll be looking for defensive-minded assistants as he starts putting together his staff in Atlanta, as Charles Odum of The Associated Press writes.
“If we weren’t doing this press conference right now, I’d probably have these guys doing some defensive drills,” Pierce said, referring to the Hawks players who attended the presser. “That’s who I am.”
In addition to the four Hawks who were in attendance on Monday, Sixers forward Robert Covington – who was in Atlanta visiting a family member – showed up to support the former Philadelphia assistant. Covington had nothing but praise for Pierce, calling him a “great coach” who is “absolutely” ready for his first head coaching job.
Here’s more out of Atlanta:
- During Monday’s presser, Hawks GM Travis Schlenk said that he and Mike Budenholzer remain on good terms, despite the former head coach’s departure from Atlanta. “I talked with [Budenholzer] a couple days ago,” Schlenk said, per Odum. “No hard feelings at all.”
- In a Q&A with Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Pierce spoke at length about the defensive strategies he employed in Philadelphia, which he’ll bring to the Hawks.
- Dennis Schroder, who led the Hawks in points (19.4 PPG) and assists (6.2 APG) last season, made comments this week at a press conference in Germany that made it sound like he wouldn’t mind moving on from Atlanta. Schroder said he could imagine playing for teams like the Bucks and Pacers (Twitter link via David Hein), adding that he doesn’t want to keep finishing “second-to-last in the Eastern Conference” (link via Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net). Schroder is under contract for three more years at $15.5MM annually, but wasn’t drafted or extended by the current management group, so he could emerge as a trade candidate for the Hawks.