Should the Atlanta Hawks retire Joe Johnson’s number?

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 8: Joe Johnson
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 8: Joe Johnson /
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If my fellow Hawks fans are anything like me, you read the title of this article and suddenly jumped to your own answer to the presented question. You likely reached your own conclusion based on the opinion you formed of Johnson during his seven seasons as a member of the Atlanta Hawks. When you start to analyze different angles and statistics of the seven time all-star though, it becomes a legitimate discussion.

The Hawks have retired a total of 5 numbers across the totality of their 68 years of existence. Those are, thanks to, 9 (Bob Petit), 21 (Dominique Wilkins), 23 (Lou Hudson), 44 (Pete Marivich) and 55 (Dikembe Mutombo). That would be some legendary company for anyone to join.

We’ll get into how and where Johnson ranks as an all-time Hawk soon, but what I discovered to be exceptional was comparing the career of Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce. For Pierce to be celebrated by such a storied franchise, amassing all of 17 NBA Championships, it brings how much the Hawks should appreciate Joe’s achievement’s, to a greater perspective.

ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 28: Joe Johnson
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 28: Joe Johnson /

I would classify Joe Johnson as a more talented player from my point of view as a fan, but Pierce is actually the player you’d probably prefer to have in your lineup based on statistics. It’s not unanimous though, as in many ways the two are essentially identical players. Pierce never single handedly led his Boston teams to any level of greatness on his own, and that is significant to an evaluation of his effectiveness.