Today, Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Nick Van Exel is in San Francisco, helping prepare the young roster for the crucible of guarding Stephen Curry. But 22 years ago, Van Exel was in Denver tearing the Hawks up as a player.
It was 1999, the Hawks were at the beginning of a rebuild on the precipice of a new millennium. Dikembe Mutombo and Isaiah Rider led the team that night as well as the season. Rookie point guard Jason Terry logged 23 minutes against the Nuggets and scored a respectable 12 points on 6-10 shooting. Unfortunately, nothing could prepare ‘The Jet’ for the avalanche he was facing in Denver.