Atlanta Hawks Suspend Josh Smith for 1 Game for Conduct Detrimental to Team

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2013

The Atlanta Hawks have suspended Josh Smith for Wednesday night’s contest against the Brooklyn Nets for “conduct detrimental to the team.”

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the club announced the suspension and an undisclosed fine on Wednesday morning.

The Hawks announce they suspended Josh Smith for a game and fined him for conduct detrimental to team.

— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) January 16, 2013

Whatever Smith may have done to warrant this disciplinary action hasn’t been divulged, but Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constituion is reporting that the forward was kicked out of practice on Tuesday, which may have something to do with this suspension.

According to a source, Smith was kicked out of practice Tuesday. #ATLHawks

— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) January 16, 2013

The Hawks star was immediately apologetic to his teammates and the fans. Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today released Smith's statement on the issue:

Josh Smith will miss game tonight v. Brooklyn. In statement, Smith said, "Clearly I am competitive and was frustrated by our recent losses."

— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) January 16, 2013

Josh Smith statement: "I understand and respect the team's actions and just want to get back on the court to do whatever is necessary..."

— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) January 16, 2013

More Smith: "necessary to help my teammates. I apologize for letting them down and apologize to our fans" for missing Nets game.

— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) January 16, 2013

Atlanta has lost six of its last seven games and was absolutely embarrassed by the Chicago Bulls on Monday. The athletic forward received a technical foul during the contest.

Smith was likely livid after being on the wrong end of a 97-58 shellacking (including a five-point second quarter for Atlanta) in the midst of a tough January that includes Hawks losses to the basement-dwelling Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards.

Hopefully Smith’s passion, as misguided as it may have been, will help light a fire under his teammates going into Wednesday night’s matchup against Brooklyn and former teammate Joe Johnson.

Remember, the Hawks started the year off hot and were one of the pleasant surprises of the early 2012-13 campaign. At the end of December, they were 19-10 and sitting just outside first place in the East.

Now, they are down to sixth place in the conference, and there is no end in sight to this recent skid. If things continue at this pace, the Hawks will be in serious danger of missing the postseason.

Hopefully Smith—who is averaging 16.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game—has learned his lesson and can return to the court on Friday when the Hawks travel to Brooklyn for a rematch against the Nets.