No. 94: Atlanta Hawks

Ultimate Standings 2012

Updated: September 6, 2012, 6:05 PM ET
By Ian Gordon | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 103
Title track: 110
Ownership: 103
Coaching: 110
Players: 117
Fan relations: 111
Affordability: 56
Stadium experience: 98
Bang for the buck: 16

For the past decade, the Atlanta Hawks have more or less been stuck in neutral. They're good enough to make a series or two interesting but not good enough to advance past the conference semis. So how do the fans feel about it? Pretty ambivalent, apparently: Philips Arena was 81.2 percent full on average in 2012, second worst among playoff teams. Even after a show of post-lockout good will in which the Hawks paid the 50-cent toll for drivers on Georgia's Route 400 during the morning rush -- dispatching legend Dominique Wilkins to greet commuters -- the team's ratings in this year's poll were still abysmal. Fans aren't happy with ownership, coach Larry Drew or Hawks players. The franchise, it seems, is in desperate need of a shake-up. Enter new general manager Danny Ferry. Just weeks after taking over as GM, Ferry unloaded Joe Johnson and his unsightly contract (four years and $89 million remaining) on the Brooklyn Nets and traded underachieving and pricey Marvin Williams to the Utah Jazz. The upshot? Now that the money's been freed up, there's a chance the Hawks could get involved with Dwight Howard and/or Chris Paul, both free agents in 2013. Did we mention that Howard's from Atlanta and that he played AAU ball with F Josh Smith? Hey, Hawks fans need something to dream about.