IT'S a rare occurrence, but since Hoopla last graced these pages the Hawks have played three times.
There's been plenty to talk about in all three outings, but there was one particular aspect of the Hawks huge upset of Sydney on New Years' Eve that warrants discussion - and it's an interesting one.
It concerns the booing of Xavier Cooks on his first journey 'home' since he was poached by the Kings a month or so ago. It prompted discussion on social media and at the venue as well.
There's not many issues on which Hawks fans are split, but this was one of them. It taps into an age-old question of sporting fandom; when to boo, who to boo, who not to, when not to.
In the general sense, Hoopla falls in the "fair game" camp. Given the vile things crowds can - and sometimes do - say, booing is a pretty mild form of expressing disdain. Some might even call it an exercise in futility.
One of the greatest philosophers of modern times Jerry Seinfeld explained it best in a memorable bit:
"You're actually rooting for the clothes when you get right down to it. You are standing and cheering and yelling for your clothes to beat the clothes from another city.
"Fans will be so in love with a player and then he goes to another team and they boo him. This is the same human being in a different shirt and they hate him. 'No, no different shirt... boo."
That's it in a nutshell.
It's particularly pertinent question for Hawks fans though, given their club's position on a decidedly uneven financial playing field. It'll stay that way until the NBL finally gets on top of its salary cap* but that's another story.
Matching wealthy clubs can seem like a Sisyphean task - Sisyphus was that Greek guy sentence to push a big poo uphill only watch it roll back down for all eternity.
To the point, for years and years Hawks fans have watched players rise to stardom in Wollongong only to be lured away by the bigger dollars bigger clubs can offer.
In recent years they've watched the likes of Kevin Lisch, Nick Kay and Mitch Norton come and go. It's the reality of professional sport, but how much good grace should be demanded of the Hawks faithful in response?
Cooks is an interesting case in that he never actually played for the Hawks. However, he was born and raised in the Gong, spent his formative years in the sport at the Snakepit and was putting up shots there this season until the Kings came knocking.
Dad Eric has what's likely the longest unbroken professional association with the Hawks in its history. At the same time, Cooks is a self-made man, has a stellar college career behind him, is a current Boomer and is more than entitled to make the best decisions for his career.
Despite his Illawarra ties, he didn't owe the Hawks anything. The flipside is he's not owed any special grace from the Hawks faithful either.
Lisch copped the treatment when he first returned the WEC. Cooks is one of the few blokes who could give Lisch a run in the World's Nicest Man race, but is anyone really surprised or indignant about the fact he copped it as well?
Some might not like it, but it's hardly abhorrent. At its heart it's not personal either, they're really just booing the clothes and, when it comes to the dastardly purple and gold, there's history there.
At this stage you'd probably have to leave Cooks out of the All-Star Stolen Five - Hawks poached by their northern neighbours. It's a handy line-up, with Geordie McLeod partnering Lisch in the back court, Glen Saville in the three spot, Melvin Thomas at the four and Greg Hubbard at the five (for argument's sake).
Kay and Norton would be in the front pack of the WNM stakes as well. They're also all self-made men entitled to make their own career decisions and the Hawks club must bear its own share of responsibility in losing all four.
Still, when any player makes such move we inevitably hear that it "had nothing to do with money." In reality it's rarely all about money, but we'd be willing to wager none took unders to leave either - despite half the Kings current roster supposedly doing just that (cry-laugh emoji).
Hawks fans aren't schmucks, they're well-attuned to that fact as well.
Age-old booing debate aside, it's not even really about Cooks, it taps into a wider angst among Hawks fans. If their club can't keep Cooks, with all his readymade Illawarra ties, who can they keep?
Given the present form of Emmett Naar, Sunday Dech, Dan Grida and - most of all - Wollongong's own Angus Glover, it's reasonable concern. You can bet the bigger clubs are already circling, check books in hand.
If they're lured away, are Hawks fans just expected to say: thanks guys, best of luck? Opinion will be split on that to, but there's a point where conciliation borders on a lack of self respect.
Fans don't react the same in all situations either. Kevin White, who was squeezed out of the club, was cheered when he returned to the WEC with Adelaide this season.
There's irony in the fact a Sydney product came to embody the blue collar ethos of the Hawks. Whitey's competitive nature ensured they turned to boos quickly after he milked an unsportsmanlike foul from Aaron Brooks at a key moment (like those directed at Lisch no one suggested they were out of order) but all was forgiven in the aftermath.
That's the other quality Hawks fans possess in spades - they're a forgiving bunch. Three of the five names in that Stolen All-Star Five currently hang in the WEC rafters, the greatest Hawks of all.
It wasn't lost on Thomas when his name and the No. 33 were hoisted alongside McLeod, Harmison, Campbell and Saville in 2013.
"The fact I left and came back, and they welcomed me with open arms... Wollongong will always be home for me," he said.
Let's hope Cooks joins McLeod, Saville, Thomas and Hubbard in returning to the Pit when his Kings stint is done - hopefully via the NBA.
He'll be welcomed with open arms... until then though, while ever he's in purple and gold, we say boo away.
*When asked about the salary cap the NBL was last seen under a desk with hands over their ears yelling "lalalalalalalalala."