The tape ended and Tyrone Hill stood and went to the dry erase board, which listed the Dallas lineup and the players the Hawks would use to defend each guy. He went player by player, mentioning things like trying to make Jason Kidd a jump shooter or which way Shawn Marion likes to turn with the ball, then spent a few minutes on Mavs rookie Rodrigue Beaubois, who’d been starting for Dallas, though most of the Hawks had never seen him play. The most time was devoted to Dirk Nowitzki, and the coaches peppered Josh Smith with tips and reminders on how best to defend the former MVP.

A few minutes past noon, Woodson stood and faced the team to end the meeting. “Guys, I’ve been in this League as a coach and a player for 28 years. I won one title with Detroit a few years ago, but I’d like to win some more, and I know all of you guys would, too. Look, your clock is ticking. My clock is ticking. We’re not going to be around this League forever. This team is possibly good enough to win a title. You guys who weren’t here before this year, I’ve never been able to say that before this season. But you guys could do something really special. You just have to trust each other and do what you’re supposed to do out there on the floor. The shit works, you just have to execute and trust.”

via SLAM ONLINE | » Links: Embedded With The Atlanta Hawks.

Go read that now. Do not wait. Do not read the rest of this post. You can come back to this post. Go read it. Don’t worry, HP will still be here, pithy as always.

Seriously, Lang is incredible. I’m not just sucking up here (you can’t suck up to someone who doesn’t know you). This is phenomenal.

I want to believe this season is special for the Hawks. A franchise rife with disappointment in a hard luck city. A coach constantly questioned for his abilities, drifting along in an uncertain ownership situation. A franchise that drafted forward after forward, watching its team come into its own. Wouldn’t it make a great story?

And if Lang gets to write it, all the better.

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.