Former New Mexico Lobo Tony Snell made NBA History with the Atlanta Hawks

Former New Mexico Lobo Tony Snell made NBA History with the Atlanta Hawks

Mountain West Basketball

Former New Mexico Lobo Tony Snell made NBA History with the Atlanta Hawks

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Tony Snell achieved the first 50/50/100 season in NBA history.


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Tony Snell has thrived with Nate McMillan and the Atlanta Hawks. Although he has struggled with injuries this season, the former New Mexico Lobo just made NBA history.

With the 2020-21 NBA regular season officially wrapped up, Snell became the first player in the league to shoot at 50% from the field, 50% from beyond the arc and 100% from the free throw line through an entire season. He hasn’t missed from the charity line since March 12, 2019.

The 6’6 guard also established himself as the three-point shooting leader by making 56.9% of his threes. On March 11, Snell hit the game-winner against the Toronto Raptors as the clock was running out.

Trae Young dished the dime and said his only concern was whether or not he could pass the ball fast enough, he had no doubt Snell’s shot would go in. Young talked about his confidence in Snell while also sharing one of his favorite nicknames: Water.

“ ‘Water’ has to be up there because all of his shots is just water,” Young said. “It’s just water.”

After that game, Snell, also referred to as “Two-Tone” and “T-Snelly,” reminisced about his time in New Mexico.

“In college I hit a game-winner, it was against George Mason,” he said. “It was 1.2 seconds left, but this is probably the first time I made a game winner in a long time. Glad we got the win overall, that’s all I care about.”

Snell spent three seasons with the Lobos before declaring for the 2013 NBA Draft and becoming the 20th overall pick by the Chicago Bulls.

During his time as a Lobo, Snell was already showing he could be a sharp shooter. He averaged 12.5 points and 2.9 assists per game through the 2012-13 season while shooting at 39% from beyond the arc. He led his team with a total of 64 three-pointers. The previous year, he was shooting at 58.5% from the field and 38.7% from three with a total of 71 three-pointers.

The 6’6 guard has played for four different NBA teams. He spent three years with the Bulls, three with the Milwaukee Bucks and one with the Detroit Pistons before being traded to Atlanta.

Before this season’s accomplishments, Snell had reached meme status due a game in February 2017 when he played 28 minutes but did not record a single point, rebound, assist, steal or block for the Bucks. That was an unusual stat line for a starter, but there’s no doubt Snell has proven that’s not what people should expect from him.

Although Snell can shoot, he is leaving the double digit scoring to his teammates. Nine Hawks average double figures while Snell averages 5.3 points per game. That’s ok by him because when asked about what he envisioned his role would be when he first arrived to Atlanta, he said he wanted to have more of a presence on the defensive side of the ball.

“Basically come in and try to defend the best way I can,” Snell said in March. “I’m a defensive minded-guy and shoot threes when I’m open.”

The Hawks earned a ticket in the NBA Playoffs for the first time since the 2016-17 season. They officially clinched the spot on May 12 after a win against the Washington Wizards.

That game saw another Young pass that led to a successful three-pointer by Snell.

The Hawks saw their fair share of injuries but still pulled off a 41-31 overall record. Snell missed 10 games in April due to an ankle injury. This month he missed a couple of games due to right Achilles soreness, but he did play 24 minutes during the regular season finale against the Houston Rockets.

While he is not exactly the star player, Snell’s impact is not going unnoticed during his first season with the Hawks, even with his quiet personality.

During his time in New Mexico, Snell wasn’t exactly a man of many words. This really hasn’t changed much, but that doesn’t mean his teammates don’t listen to him. Young described him as a veteran with a lot of knowledge to share.

“Very few words, but always the right words,” Young said when describing Snell’s personality in March. “He’s always a positive person. Always has a smile on his face. A true definition of a pro. He comes in, gets his work in, and he’s always on time.”

Snell and the Hawks are set to start postseason play on Sunday with Game 1 against the New York Knicks. The team had Monday off but started preparing on Tuesday.


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