Stardom Comes at Unlikely Cost for Atlanta Hawks Guard Jeff Teague

Azariah GeboContributor IIMay 18, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 08:  Jeff Teague #0 of the Atlanta Hawks dunks against Joakim Noah #13, cb26#2 and Carlos Boozer #5 of the Chicago Bulls in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Phillips Arena on May 8, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Limited minutes amounted to limited production in Jeff Teague's first two regular seasons. So come playoff time, there wasn't much the Hawks were expecting from him in terms of production.

This philosophy held true until starter Kirk Hinrich injured his hamstring in the closing minutes of a first-round series win by the Atlanta Hawks. This thrust Teague into the spotlight to succeed or fail as he was chosen to start over 2010s sixth-man of the year, Jamal Crawford.

And for the large part, Teague succeeded in the spotlight as he averaged 17 points per game (three with 20-plus). He was the most consistent and best player on the team during the series until a wrist injury limited his ability to play in Game 6, where the Atlanta Hawks were eliminated.

However, the elimination and injury didn't conceal his success. Teague had matched Bulls star PG, Derek Rose, point for point at certain times in the series. This led to league-wide praise and comparisons about his quickness and ability to finish at the basket with the likes of Rajon Rondo.

Jeff Teague was rising up the ladder of success and had seemingly locked up the starting PG spot on the roster for at least the next season.

To both the Hawks' and Teague's dismay though, this didn't last long.

Days after the NBA Eastern Conference Finals and the Hawks' season ended, news came out that Teague's name was mentioned in a woman's sex allegation. According a complaint filed by a former Wake Forest student in 2009, Jeff Teague, then a Wake Forest player, had waited outside while then teammate, Gary Clark, raped a woman inside.

There were no criminal charges filed and, according to Mike Grace, the attorney who represented Jeff Teague and Gary Clark, both players had been cleared by the university judiciary board.

The story doesn't end there as more trouble is seemingly on the way for Teague. The alleged rape victim is set to appear Thursday morning on NBC's Today show. On the show, she is set to talk about the allegations after she and her family received help from the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes.

This obviously seems like too much of a coincidence. All of these allegations were made known a couple of days ago after the Hawks' season had just ended. It very much seems like Teague's rise to stardom had a lot to do with it. Otherwise, this news would have come out days after it occurred and it would have most likely led Atlanta to go another route in drafting a point guard.

No more can be said though, as all await the Thursday morning Today Show to air. This might shed more light into this confusing story.

And for both the Atlanta Hawks' and Jeff Teague's sake, let's hope all turns out well.