ATLANTA – Paul Millsap made some headlines when he signed a two-year deal worth $19 million with the Atlanta Hawks. He seemingly could have gotten more money, but nonetheless he took a pay cut to play in Atlanta. Millsap spoke to the media on media day, as a member of the Hawks sporting a new number.
“It’s been fun man, it’s been a process. With new things coming it’s a process. [We're] still learning each other, and figuring things out, and hopefully this week will move it along,” Millsap told the media on Monday. When it comes to playing with Horford, Millsap sees no issues in playing style, “It’s like knowing what you’re doing, we both think alike, especially on the basketball court we’re both unselfish. I think that’ll come in to play, I think that’ll mix well, and easy hopefully.”
Millsap’s role on offense has been under some questioning, and Millsap said he wasn’t afraid to do what’s necessary for the team, even if that means playing small forward. “It’s something I’m open too, I feel like I’ll be very comfortable with it. Things I’ve worked on throughout the summer will come into play, I’m not particularly worried about getting out there and not playing the 3, and I think I’ll be very comfortable with that,” proclaimed Millsap. When talking about 3 pointers, Millsap was open there as well, “I think it’s going to be more important for our team, especially with the extra pass, and the ball movement we’re going to have, and the spacing we’re going to have. I’m going to find myself out on the perimeter a lot, but I’m capable and willing to shoot that shot and make it. It’s not going to be a problem.”
With Josh Smith gone, a lot of people are comparing Millsap to Smith, and he wasn’t receptive to that idea. “I myself, I don’t compare myself to anybody else. We’re two different players, we’re two different people, but me myself, I know the things I’m capable of doing. I can shoot the basketball, [I'm] very energetic, I rebound. Some of the same similarities, but just different.”
When asked about how long it will take for the new guys can mesh, Millsap eluded to the fact that they have a lot of high IQ guys on the team. “For us, we’ve got smart guys, intelligent guys, so hopefully it will not be that long. We’ve already been going through some things, get a feel for what we’re going to do, and it’s been working out,” Millsap added.
As for replacing Josh Smith as the “headband guy” on the team, I asked Paul about rocking one, “I don’t know, probably not the headband [laughs], but my mind may change when the season starts, who knows? [laughter].”
Want more Hawks media day coverage? Check out this recap featuring Hawks head honcho Al Horford!