Heading into Atlanta tonight, the Nets are expecting to see a team hungry for a win after being embarrassed at the hands of the Chicago Bulls back on Monday night. The Hawks lost 97-58 and barely avoided the lowest scoring output in franchise history.
Tonight, the Nets may have caught a break, though. Josh Smith, the team’s leading scorer, has been suspended by the team and will miss the game.
Hit the jump for the full release.
Hawks President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ferry today announced that the team has suspended forward Josh Smith for one game and fined him an undisclosed amount for conduct detrimental to the team.
Smith, currently in his ninth season with the Hawks, is averaging team highs in scoring (16.5 points) and blocked shots (2.3) while adding 8.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals in 34.8 minutes per game in 35 games (all starts).
“Josh and I discussed the issue and he understood and accepted this course of action. We are confident that he will respond positively, learn from this experience and come back with a renewed sense of purpose to the team moving forward,” Ferry said.
The 6-foot-9 forward will serve his suspension tonight against the Brooklyn Nets.
Statement from Josh Smith on his suspension
“Clearly I am competitive and was frustrated by our recent losses. I understand and respect the team’s actions and just want to get back on the court to do whatever is necessary to help my teammates. I apologize for letting them down and apologize to our fans for not being available for tonight’s game.”