Larry Drew Gets Hawks Head Coaching Job

After 17 years of toiling as an assistant coach in the NBA, Larry Drew is finally getting his just due. The Atlanta Hawks named Drew as their head coach, replacing Mike Woodson, who was booted out after the team was swept by the Orlando Magic in the second round of the playoffs.

Drew, who was the 17th pick in the 1980 NBA Draft, was Woodson’s assistant for six years. Before joining the Hawks coaching staff, Woodson had stints as assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, and New Jersey Nets. He will take charge of a young team that may lose its top player in Joe Johnson, who had said that he will test free agency.

Drew said after he was officially named as the Hawks’ head coach that he intends to bring more creativity to the team. He also cited his six-year experience with the Hawks as an advantage. “I’m a guy who’s already been in here, who already knows the players, who already has a feel for the team.”

The new coach also showed his interest in convincing Johnson to stick it out with the Hawks. “The things I’m talking about putting in are going to enhance Joe’s game even more,” Drew said.