ATLANTA In Josh Smith's newest Adidas commercial, he traverses the city of Atlanta in a pristine white Hawks uniform discussing the encumbrances of carrying a franchise's expectations.
It's nothing groundbreaking; typical basketball advertising.The shoe company has Smith recite his lines over a symphony of squeaking shoes and a keyboard-driven beat: "They say the hopes of a franchise are heavy, but that they are nothing compared to the hopes of a city."
Hometowns might be even heavier.
It is a contract year for Smith, the standout Hawks forward who is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2012-13 NBA season. His future options were oft-discussed throughout an active offseason for the organization.
Will he attempt to recruit another superstar Atlanta native like, say, Lakers center Dwight Howard to join the franchise? Will he leave to join forces with another top player, like Boston's Rajon Rondo, a good friend who Smith, to much subsequent speculation, played...