Hawks guard Kyle Korver spoke to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the recent issues facing the team. Korver, who is on the executive board of the National Basketball Players Association, was at a team meeting Sunday when CEO Steve Koonin spoke to the team.
Q. How did the meeting with Steve Koonin go on Sunday night?
A. He was very direct. He said that he was sorry that all this was happening. That the Hawks are going to do everything they can to make this all right. He didn’t talk long. He was very, very firm. He said that he was sorry that we had to deal with this.
Q. What was the player reaction to it?
A. Everything was really fresh. We were just starting to hear about it. Danny called everyone that morning and said we had to have a meeting. It was still really fresh and obviously guys were still trying to figure it all out. Any time race comes up guys perk up because it’s such a sensitive topic. Everything was very fresh. It was hard to hear.
Q. What is your reaction to everything that has happened?
A. My thoughts are, when I got traded to the Hawks, I didn’t want to come here because all I knew was what I had heard, about bad culture and no fans and no excitement in the city. So I didn’t want to come to Atlanta. At all. I was bummed to leave Chicago. But by the next summer, I chose to re-sign and come back to Atlanta. After a year of watching what Danny (Ferry) was doing and the people he was bringing in. Everything I saw, was so attractive to me and I really believed in it. I believed that he was going to turn things around. I saw that Atlanta was an incredible city, and that there was so much potential here to both raise my family and help build a great basketball culture. I had some opportunities to go to places that were already established and played really good basketball but I wanted to come back here and be a part of building this. I think in all this, I’m hopeful that when the dust settles, it keeps on going. I really do believe in what has gone on in the two years that I have been here. I think anyone who knows the game and has watched the transformation would agree with me. But it’s just sad what’s all going on. That all this has happened has really bummed me out.
Q. You were teammates with Luol Deng. Would you care to comment about what was said about him? Have you reached out to him?
A. Yeah we did speak. Luol is such a good guy. And he’s been through so much in life that I don’t really think this has really even phased him. He told me that he didn’t think that Danny or anyone with the Hawks was racist. He said he was shocked when he heard what was said, but that sometimes things just slip out. It was pretty amazing, really. He just wants everything to move on. He wants to get back to basketball.
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