Lloyd Pierce Wants to Help Hawks Players Develop into 'Unbelievable Men'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 06: Head coach Lloyd Pierce of the Atlanta Hawks looks on during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on March 06, 2020 in Washington, DC. 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 Will Newton/Getty Images)
Will Newton/Getty Images

Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce isn't only looking for his players to excel on the court.

During an appearance on 92.9 The Game's The Midday Show w/ Andy & Randy, Pierce explained the Hawks have a roster comprised largely of younger players and are thus "in a development stage." Along with that, he's hopeful that development entails more than just basketball.

"Trae Young is an unbelievable player. Deandre Hunter is an unbelievable player," he said. "They are going to be even better as the years start to come around and experience increases, I'm not worried about that. I do hope that I can contribute to them being unbelievable men, fathers, husbands eventually."

Pierce wasn't exaggerating when he said his team revolves around a young core of players.

The Hawks entered the 2019-20 season with an average age of 25.76, a figure that is somewhat skewed by Vince Carter, who turned 43 in January. Remove Carter from the mix and the 15 remaining players on Atlanta's roster average a little more than 24 years old. For reference, the Phoenix Suns (24.49) were the youngest team on opening night.

Pierce celebrated his 44th birthday on May 11. In coaching terms, he's relatively young, but the gulf in age between him and many of his players makes him an elder statesman.

The Athletic's Chris Kirschner reported June 1 that Pierce had formed a committee within the National Basketball Coaches Association to help explore ways in which coaches could aid in helping advance reforms addressing social inequality.

Across the country, demonstrators have protested in the aftermath of the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

"This feeling of outrage isn't new," Pierce said to Kirschner. "I think what's new is it's on TV and a lot of people can't leave or move. We're not traveling and moving about. We're not bypassing what's on the news. It's right in front of us, and we can't go anywhere and can't hide from it."