Welcome back to Atlanta, Kirk Hinrich.
And yes, the traffic is still bad.
“Yeah, I was sitting on Marietta (Street) for a while,” Hinrich said of his first trip back to Philips Arena Saturday as a member of the Hawks.
The guard began his second tour of duty with the team after he was acquired from the Bulls at the trade deadline as part of a three-team deal that included the Jazz. Hinrich arrived in Atlanta and made it to the arena just before halftime of the Hawks game against the Heat Friday night. He passed his physical and was dressed and available against the Bucks Saturday night. It sounded unlikely that he would play after getting a crash course in the Hawks’ system Saturday morning.
“I was shocked but after it settled in I’m excited for the opportunity, whatever it may be,” Hinrich said of his reaction to the trade. “I just didn’t see it coming. I’m in Cleveland doing my game-day routine and I got the phone call. I was a little surprised.”
Hinrich played a season and a half for the Hawks from 2010-11 after being acquired at the trade deadline from the Wizards. He returned to Chicago, where he began his career, following the 2011 season where he remained until yet another trade deadline deal to the Hawks.
The 13-year veteran said he doesn’t expect it to take long to get acclimated to the Hawks’ read-and-react system.
“To some point basketball is basketball,” Hinrich said. “You have to get familiar with the guys you are playing with and have an idea of the basics and what we are trying to do on both ends. I don’t anticipate it taking too long.”
Hinrich’s family will remain in Chicago with his children in school for the final 26 games of the regular season. He played in 35 games for the Bulls this season, including seven starts, and averaged 3.8 points, 1.7 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 15.9 minutes. Hinrich said the message from the Hawks about his role was simple.
“They just said they thought I could help us,” he said.
Hinrich will wear No. 12. He was given the locker that belonged to Shelvin Mack, who was sent to the Jazz as part of the trade.
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