For the last three weeks, the Hawks have been meeting via Zoom on Sunday afternoons as a way to stay connected and go over questions and protocols for the NBA hiatus. Typically, coaches will lead team discussions as players have opportunities to ask questions, but this past weekend, Lloyd Pierce decided to bring in a pair of guest speakers to give the meeting a lighter tone.
To the surprise of the players, comedians Chris Tucker and Anthony Adams dropped into Sunday's call to provide some comic relief during a stressful time.
"We got a new coach that's joining the staff," Pierce said as he introduced Tucker.
"I'm so glad y'all hired me," shouted Tucker, an Atlanta native and current resident. "I'm so glad to be part of the team. I've got a lot of new plays... I'm gonna play a little bit, too."
Adams called in from an outdoor basketball court, and in addition to challenging nearly every player on the Hawks to a one-on-one matchup, demonstrated a few of his own moves to the team.
"This is 300 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal," the former NFL defensive lineman said.
The Hawks have been limited in their basketball activity over the last month, but have been trying to stay engaged nonetheless. In addition to bringing in special guests, the coaching staff has been meeting with players in small groups during the week and sending game film for them to watch during their downtime. Many players don't have access to courts or gyms, which makes it difficult to stay in shape and keep one's mind busy.
A drop-in from two unexpected guests seemed like a needed, if momentary, lift in a dreary time.