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Birds of Prey
Stephanie Davis Smith | Photo: Pat Molnar | May 27, 2014
For these three gents, life is a game. After giving the top-seeded Indiana Pacers a run for their money in the NBA playoffs, this trio is finally giving Atlanta hoop fans something to talk about. Turns out, even after the buzzer, they are still playing to win. With style to spare, see how a few Atlanta Hawks are turning heads all over town.
“I started pulling up the socks in college,” says Korver, of his signature look in uniform. “[I did it once] and had a good game. I did it the next night and had a good game. I just kept on. Now, if I went out there with short socks, I might feel a little naked.” Korver’s old-school style isn’t the only thing that distinguishes him within the confines of Philips Arena. This year he played with swagger. Korver led the NBA in three-point percentage this season. He hit a ridiculous 47.2 percent on his 392 attempts from the trey line during regular season play. Thankfully, for Hawks fans, the married father and shooting guard seems more settled in Atlanta this year—on and off the court. “We didn’t know if we’d be here longer than that first year because I had a one-year contract. So we didn’t really dig in all the way. Now that I’m here for a while, we can make some friends and not worry about losing them,” he says with a chuckle. Korver and his wife, Juliet, put down roots in Ansley Park with their daughter, Kyra. They spend a slew of time at Piedmont Park, Barcelona Wine Bar and order Mexican food from Mi Cocina and neighborhood spots regularly. “I’m proud that I’m here, that I’m in the NBA. Not everyone gets here,” he says. “The Hawks organization has been fantastic. It’s filled with really good people top to bottom. We’re really impressed by them, and they have made us feel welcome and like we mattered.” Looks like that famed Southern hospitality really pays off.
At only age 28, Horford is a vet on the Hawks team. “I’ve been here seven years,” says the popular power forward/center, who suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in December. “My wife and I love Atlanta. The people, the weather and the restaurants are all great.” Horford’s wife, Amelia Vega, is also from the Dominican Republic—only back home, he says she’s even more famous than him! Like most people in the DR, he had long known of the singer and former Miss Universe before they went on their first date. “Obviously I knew her. She’s a big deal.” The modest Horford may not admit it, but he’s a big deal too. With the first-round draft pick’s help, the Hawks pulled in scores of new fans this season. Never one to sit on the sidelines for long, he cheered on his team until he’s back on the court next year.
Two seasons ago, Louis “Lou” Williams received a call from new Hawks President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ferry asking him to return to his hometown of Atlanta. The South Gwinnett High School graduate says, “Being a Hawks fan growing up, it felt organic [playing for my home team], like it was meant to happen.” Two seasons later, the second all-time leading scorer in Georgia high school basketball history is spending his days with the Hawks charging from the bench for key scoring boosts. The combo guard uses rare off-the-court time shopping at Lenox Square, grabbing a turkey burger at Yeah! Burger or hitting up Frank Ski’s Restaurant & Lounge. “I’m a Gwinnett County kid, so I try to explore as much of Downtown and Midtown as possible [now].” Williams is so connected with his old stomping grounds, he still conducts a summer camp for South Gwinnett youth every year. How’s that for a team leader?