It is the summer, the NBA’s offseason, and the league’s players are more than welcome to take advantage of summer Saturdays and hit up the amusement park of their choice. Still, of all days, Atlanta Hawk point guard Jeff Teague picked a weird time to hop on a few Harry Potter rides at Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park.
He took to the park last Saturday, the final day for the Hawks to match the four-year, $32 million offer sheet that Milwaukee had signed Teague to three days prior. Atlanta had until late Saturday evening to either bring the restricted free agent back to their team, or let him become a Buck – as Teague had requested.
Somewhat surprisingly, Atlanta matched the Milwaukee offer sheet. All while Teague was barreling through a simulated Hogwarts. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Chris Vivlamore has the story:
When Jeff Teague’s phone rang Saturday – while on a Harry Potter themed amusement park ride in Orlando – he answered. Hawks general manager Danny Ferry was calling with news that the team intended to match the four-year, $32 million offer sheet from the Bucks. Teague would remain in Atlanta.
“He said they were going to match the offer and we’re glad to have you back,” Teague told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I held on a little bit, got off the ride and we started talking a little bit more.”
What’s important to note, beyond that little bit of silliness, is that Teague is on board with the Hawks for the long haul, and promises that there will be no lingering resentment despite his public proclamations of wanting to become a Buck.
“It’s a process,” Teague said. “I understood that going into it. I was a restricted free agent and I knew that all along. I was happy either way. I’m glad to be back in Atlanta. It’s been home for four years. It’s time to get back to work.
“There is no bad blood. We are all professionals.”
That’s encouraging. The Hawks didn’t set the league on fire this summer by extending Teague, bringing Kyle Korver back and picking up Paul Millsap and Elton Brand in free agency, but the team will be cap-flexible, fun to watch, and still able to compete in an Eastern Conference that will welcome improved Bulls, Nets, Knicks, and Pacer teams to its ranks in 2013-14.
And with two and a half months left until training camp, Teague can well afford a few E-ticket rides before getting to suit up for ATL once again. And he can probably turn his cell phone off, with the hard part of the summer already over, in order to fully experience the charms of wizardry.