When the Hawks lost Al Horford to the Celtics this summer, it essentially eliminated their hopes of being a title contender. Now the team is mired in mediocrity with no obvious way back to the top of the conference. Don’t worry, Gucci Mane has a fix: Let him own the team. He talks about the Hawks, the city of Atlanta, and more on the latest Bill Simmons Podcast.
Check out the full podcast here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.
Fix the Hawks by Giving Them to Gucci
Bill Simmons: What do the Hawks have to do to have a better fan base? Because [when] Al Horford left, his dad said one of the reasons he left was when he played in Boston, he loved the fans and the crowd, and just the Hawks fans never got there.
Gucci Mane: They should’ve brought me in as one of the minority owners. If they would have did that, that would’ve changed the whole landscape of—
B.S.: Was that in play at any point?
G.M.: Well I was locked up when they was looking for owners but they still should have reached out.
B.S.: Well, they had a whole bunch of minority owners, right?
G.M.: They didn’t have me.
B.S.: Maybe there’s still time.
G.M.: I hope so. I would love to be a part of them. We should move them to Moreland, call them the East Atlanta Hawks. On my side of town. It’ll just change the whole thing.
B.S.: So you would move the stadium?
G.M. Yeah. I just did a show for the Hawks like three weeks ago. They played the Pelicans on a Tuesday, and I sold it out. They brought the head of revenue down. He was like, "Listen, we just sold out the Philips Arena on a Tuesday playing the Pelicans. We appreciate you. Thank you so much. Do you know what you just did?" So I told him then, I was like, "Y’all need to get in business with me."
B.S.: I mean people thought Jay Z owned the Nets, and he owned like [0.07] percent, or something.
G.M.: He might own [0.07] percent, but how did he parlay that into whatever he needed to do? We don’t know.
B.S.: Yeah, but it was the perception that he was involved. The team really used him in Brooklyn, especially to be like, "Yeah we got Jay Z on our side." Whatever they gave him, it was worth it.
G.M.: But people don’t know probably what he used that perception to do.
B.S.: I think it helped both of them. So this could help you and the Hawks.
G.M.: It could.
B.S.: … So what do the Hawks have to do? You think they’re in the wrong part of town. They need you as a minority owner.
G.M.: I think they should get me in as an owner. That’s one franchise I would love to be a part of.
B.S.: I can’t see why they wouldn’t do that. They need some help. They need some traction.
G.M.: Maybe they’ll hear about this and they’ll reach out.
B.S.: I bet they hear about this. Someone will write a blog post [saying] Gucci Mane wants to be involved with the Hawks.
G.M.: They got my number. They’ll text me later.
On Atlanta and Atlanta
B.S.: What’s the difference between East Atlanta and every other part of Atlanta?
G.M.: The major thing is Atlanta is composed of zones, and it’s like the city [is] set up kind of crazy. The East Side of Atlanta’s only one zone, Zone 6. All other zones are on the West Side, or central, or north. So it’s like, when you get to the East Side of Atlanta, you get to zone 6, then you’re gone. Then you’re like in Decatur, you’re in Stone Mountain, and all these different places. So it’s the only place on the East Side that is Atlanta. And once you get out the city, the landscape just changes. So everybody [is] just super proud of their neighborhood because it’s like, we’re the only part of town still really authentically considered Atlanta.
B.S.: You were in prison when they started making the TV show Atlanta, which then became a huge hit this year. Did you see Atlanta?
G.M.: I still haven’t seen it. I’ve heard about it.
B.S.: You haven’t seen Atlanta? How come?
G.M.: I ain’t have time.
B.S.: You have to see Atlanta.
G.M.: I know! Everybody been telling me it’s super good.
B.S.: I’m dying for your opinion on Atlanta. I want to know what you think.
G.M.: I’m gonna check it out. They say it’s good.
B.S.: It would be interesting if you love Atlanta or you don’t like it because it’s almost like too close to home for you because it’s about an up-and-coming rapper in Atlanta.
G.M.: I’ll check it out. I’m gonna give it a try.
B.S.: I predict that you will be on Atlanta by Season 3.