Mr. Joe Johnson: A Letter from a Real Fan

Kevin NesgodaCorrespondent IJanuary 5, 2010

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 26:  Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks against the Orlando Magic at Philips Arena on November 26, 2009 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

Joe Johnson was asked if Atlanta's home-court advantage has gotten any better as the team improved and his answer was no.

"Don't get me wrong, it's the home team and I enjoy playing there and I enjoy when the fans do come out," Johnson told the Daily Herald . "But by no stretch of the imagination have we got one of the best home crowds. We don't. I can't really even say it's getting there.

"In the playoffs, yeah, they're there. Throughout the regular season, it's not much of a big difference from what it was. It's different, but it's not that big of a difference than what is was when I first got there."

Mr. Joe Johnson, I am terribly sorry that the fans in Atlanta aren’t treating you that well. I have watched every single one of your games this year that has been available to be viewed here in Seattle. I watched your playoffs games against Miami, Boston, and Cleveland over the last couple of seasons and have been very impressed with your work.

Hell, I’ll admit that I am a huge fan and think that you and your teammates need to be treated better. I hate turning on the television and seeing a team that is one of the best in the league playing in front of a more than half empty arena every night.

The attendance page on ESPN claims you bring in an average of 16,707 fans a night for a game. We all know those numbers are heavily inflated. Just look at OKC, they claim to be getting over 17k in there a night when it’s more like 11k or 12k.

See Joe, we here in Seattle would appreciate what you do. Actually, Joe, we do appreciate what you do. You would be surprised at the amount of budding Hawks fans in this city. If you played in Seattle we could guarantee that the arena would be filled beyond capacity, opponents could not hear themselves think as they shot free throws and we would not sit down after you made your first basket.

We’d stand and cheer you on the entire night.

You should talk with Marvin Williams and Jamal Crawford, ask them how much they enjoyed growing up here. They are back here every summer, hosting basketball camps, doing things around town.

Seattle is like a drug, once you get into it, it’s very hard to get out of. I mean that in a good way, too. You’ll have real fans here, you’ll have a better ownership group here, a better GM.

Get your teammates together come to Seattle, we’ll build you a nice new arena and fill it. The weather is better here; summers are perfect, not muggy. The winters may be a little gray, but it’s not really as rainy as most people would like you to think.

It’s picturesque here in Seattle and we have a tradition. We support our teams through thick and think. Well unless an out-of-towner buys the team and threatens from day one to move it. But Steve Ballmer, a man who has actually made money instead of losing it will own the team. He’ll own the team with friends rather than forced together business partners who completely destroyed the front office.

In Seattle, you’ll have support from the moment you step off the plane, you’ll have offers to help you move into your new house. You’ll have expectations to win championships here. In Atlanta, you don’t have that. We here in Seattle will push you the extra mile and be standing behind you every step of the way.

I personally would love for you and your teammates to be the new Sonics in Seattle. Atlanta has proven year after year after year it’s not a real basketball town and you know it. The Hawks have been in Atlanta for 43 inglorious years. They can keep the name, the colors, the history, the banners, whatever else.

We don’t want anything else but you guys. Come up here and put on the green and gold, be the new Sonics. We’ll welcome you with open arms.



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