Hawks add a little extra recognition following wins

This season, the Hawks have added a little bling to the locker room. After a win, the Hawks award the best offensive and defensive players of the game with some hardware to commend them for a job well done.

The Hawks have gone 4-2 to open the season, marking four times that coach Nate McMillan has recognized players for their work on both sides of the ball.

This is the first season the Hawks have used chains to reward players for doing the right things that helped the team earn wins. In the past, McMillan would award bottles of wine to the offensive and defensive players of the game.

“We had to change that, the roster was getting younger, so we just just felt like the wine wasn’t appropriate,” McMillan said. “And, you know, we’ve seen some situations where some teams give – these guys like the bling, bling and the big chains and all of that. So we decided to give out that.”

McMillan said one of the assistant coaches found a company that could make the chains.

Through the Hawks’ first six games, forward John Collins has picked up both chains, following the team’s second and third wins. Guards Trae Young and Dejounte Murray have picked up the offensive and defensive player of the game after the Hawks’ other wins.

“I mean, I’m more focused on winning the game,” Murray said. “It’s not about the chain. I mean, the chain is a good thing for us to smile about if we get the win and be rewarded, but, you know, I’m just trying to do whatever it takes to get a win. That’s really my main concern.”

So, with each award that the team gives out after every win, McMillan and his staff look to reinforce the style of play they want to see in every game.

“I don’t want them to be playing for individual awards,” McMillan said. “This is just something that we recognized during the game. You know, like (Wednesday) night, JC (Collins) got it in defensively because, you know, he did some good (things), came over and had a couple of blocked shots, he had a rundown at the end of the game that was a big play. And you want to highlight play like that because we feel like when you highlight things like that it just shows that these are the things that we need to consistently do for all of us.”

Collins said he and his teammates are just trying to win, and they continue to support whoever gets hot.

“It’s just a part of the NBA,” he said. “Different guys are gonna have different games each night. So, I say it’s an up-and-down league. So, I mean, that’s, that’s really it is trying to support whoever gets going when they are getting the ball, keep them in rhythm, you know, an effort to win the game.”