Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Hawks are upset with Schroder. They'll penalize him ... eventually

The Atlanta Hawks -- you remember them, right? NBA team? Plays in this town? -- issued a statement Monday that was, even by Hawks standards, fascinating. (Read: bewildering.) Seventeen days after Dennis Schroder was arrested in DeKalb County for misdemeanor battery, Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk told the world that Schroder's behavior was "unacceptable" and "will not be tolerated" and "will result in discipline at the appropriate time."

Which apparently is not yet.

It's understandable that the Hawks would wait for investigating authorities to conclude their, you know, investigation. Due process and all that. But if the team plans to do nothing in the interim, why say anything beyond, "We await the conclusion of the investigation"?

As is, the Hawks made it sound pretty bad for Schroder -- Schlenk: "From our findings, we are aware that Dennis was involved in a physical altercation" -- while deferring any in-house penalty until (this is me guessing) they see how bad it really is. Which is (this is me opining) silly.

Either you do something or you defer substantive comment until you're sure what's what. Note that the Hawks went 17 days before harrumphing. (If this was an attempt to get out in front of something, it was a glacially paced one.) When finally they offered a tut-tut, it took the form of, "You just wait until your father gets home."

As noted, the Hawks have long been a strange organization. Somehow it's nice to know that, even under non-Atlanta Spirit ownership and a GM of five months' standing, they remain an odd little bunch. Continuity can be comforting.

Oh, and in other news: The Hawks open their regular season Wednesday in Dallas. Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider picks them to win 28.3 games, which would be second-worst to Sacramento (27.1) . As long as they hook one of the top two players -- Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. or Duke's Marvin Bagley III -- in the 2018 draft, this season will be, in down-the-road teams, a success.

And, not that everything in life is a conspiracy theory, that could be one benefit of delaying judgment on Schroder. If the Hawks fashion a not-awful start that compromises their tanking, they could say, "We can't have all this winning. Dennis, take the rest of the year off."

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About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.