A summer full of twists and turns for the Atlanta Hawks took a shocking and somber detour Aug. 7 when former Hawks All-Star Dan Roundfield drowned off the coast of Aruba.
Roundfield, 59, was reportedly assisting his wife when he was dragged out to sea. His body was later found under some rocks, according to published reports in an Aruba newspaper.
But the news was particularly tough to take for his good friend, Hawks executive and Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, one his former teammates.
"Danny was the most honest and upfront person I knew, and I'm very stunned at hearing the news of his death," Wilkins said. "Danny's one of my closest friends, and he was a tremendous influence on my NBA career, on and off the court. He taught me how to be a professional and took me under his wing. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I will truly miss him."
Roundfield played six seasons with the Hawks, finishing up his stint with the franchise in the 1983-84 season. An All-Star in 1980, '81 and '82, he earned second-team All-NBA honors in 1980. Five times in his 12 seasons Roundfield was voted to the All-Defensive team.
While most of the current Hawks would have a hard time recognizing the name and the connection, Wilkins said Roundfield's work with the franchise is a part of the legacy that the current team stands on.
And the news of his passing was just one shocking blow to hit the franchise. That same day, longtime Hawks vice president of public relations Arthur Triche was fired after 23 years with the organization.
The first African-American to hold his position in the league, Triche becomes the latest purge of the Danny Ferry era, joining players Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams and assistant coaches Tyrone Hill and Kenny Gattison.
Triche is the first front office or team staffer to be removed since Ferry took over but is not expected to be the last. With Ferry neck-deep in his franchise reorganization, more members of the basketball operations staff could very well be involved in future moves.
It's a summer filled with change for the Hawks, and apparently no one is immune.