Dominique Wilkins Rumors
“Nique was the best. I loved him. He had an amazing spirit about him. Before you even talk about basketball, Nique had this spirit about him on the floor, in the locker room. He was always on. I never remember Nique having a bad day. “Guys like that are rare and it’s really nice when you have them. It brings light to your locker room. I always look for guys who can bring sunshine to your team. It’s usually not your best player. It’s usually Tony Allen, you know? But Nique was the best player and he had that quality.
Still, Wilkins was quick to point out that the downside of highlight vids are that they don’t show the most important part of the game. “When you see highlights of me it’s always dunks,” said Wilkins, who made nine-NBA All-Star appearances. “Well, I scored over 26,000 points and I didn’t get them all on dunks. I was a creative scorer. I scored in every way possible; inside, outside, I got to the line 10 times a night and shot the three only if it was necessary. I got my threes in the lane; you call those and-ones! I just don’t want young guys to think it’s only about the highlight dunks.”
And therein lies Wilkins’ only issue with what’s become a part of his legacy. “I love the highlights, but I want the younger players to work on their total game,” Wilkins said. “My game was to attack, but then I mastered the mid-range game too. I wanted to be an efficient scorer and that’s what I became because I worked on everything.”
Grant Park has long been a home to some of the best basketball in the city of Atlanta. In the 1970s and 1980s, Atlanta became a top destination for pros looking for offseason action, and the Grant Park asphalt was one of the hottest courts in the city. Hawks players like Lou Hudson, John Drew, Dominique Wilkins, Kevin Willis and Moses Malone kept their skills sharp running pickup games against amateurs and local icons.
Ferry saw Wilkins as a remnant of the past, and the idolization of the “Highlight Factory” in Atlanta was yet another instance where the Hawks’ futile history was being held up as a guide for the future. Levenson and Ferry weren’t fans of Wilkins’ work as an analyst on the Hawks’ local television broadcasts, either. Ferry wanted to provide Wilkins opportunities to improve, such as introducing him to a media consultant to work on his techniques and having the Hawks’ assistant coaches meet with him before games to offer context on game plans that could be explained to fans.
Q: What are your reflections about your time with the Hawks and your two years in the NBA? Pero Antic: Expect the unexpected! I would not talk about the results that we made, but more important than that are the people around and within the team. Everything starts with COACH BUD. He taught me so much about life, family, basketball and so many other things. I would miss him a lot. I’m so happy that I met a person like him in my life, that has accomplish so much in life and still he is down to earth. My teammates and the other coaching stuff that made it all easier for me – from my El Capitano Al Horford to the old man my mentor Elton Brand and Dominique Wilkins. People are great. The city is beautiful and the whole HAWKS organization was my family. We all built something great. Maybe the best chemistry in the league I wish them a lot of health and more happiness for the HAWKS and the city of ATLANTA. TRU TO ATLANTA.
Dominique Wilkins on the passing of Moses Malone: “I am extremely saddened to hear of Moses’ passing this morning. This is extremely tough for me. I am completely in shock and words can’t express the pain and loss I am feeling right now. We had a mutual respect when we played against each other and I was fortunate enough to have called him a teammate and close friend. Even before we played together, he was one of the first greats who truly mentored me and showed me how to be a professional. I never saw anyone work harder than Moses and away from basketball, he was just as kind and thoughtful. The entire Hawks organization sends its condolences to his family and friends.”