Atlanta Hawks: Snag in ASG sale to Meruelo

The AJC’s Tim Tucker reports that ASG’’s sale of the Hawks to Alex Meruelo has hit a”’significant snag” and it’s not clear if the transaction will be completed.

According to’s Marc Stein, the league and ASG are not convinced Meruelo has the cash for the purchase. Meruelo agreed to pay about $300 million for an 80-percent stake in the Hawks and the operating rights to Philips Arena.

Meruelo, in a statement to Tucker, said he still intends to purchase the Hawks and has the money to do so: “I have more than ample resources to purchase and operate the Hawks in a first class manner. I am committed to the purchase of the Atlanta Hawks. While I can’t comment on the details of the approval process, I have [done] and will do everything I can to bring the process to a positive conclusion.”

Meruelo’s purchase of the team was announced on Aug. 7 and is subject to league approval. The NBA last week approved a sale of the 76ers but did not act on the pending Hawks sale.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

68 comments Add your comment

Grandmaster JeJe

October 26th, 2011
10:19 pm


Grandmaster JeJe

October 26th, 2011
10:20 pm

Grandmaster JeJe

October 26th, 2011
10:24 pm

I’M NUMBERS 1 2 3 4 AND 5


Hand Down, Man Down!

October 26th, 2011
11:32 pm

It’s events like this that drive people away. Basketball could be the #1 sport in this town if those in charge ever got their act together and fully committed the resources toward winning a championship. But all we’ve ever seen in this kind of BS.

darrell starks

October 27th, 2011
12:11 am

Merulo i have heard your pizza is good but in the ATL feelin’s still the number one pizza spot in atlanta.
GO FELLIN’S!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

October 27th, 2011
12:13 am

FIRE MC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michael Cunningham

October 27th, 2011
12:23 am


the blog is set to automatically stop accepting comments after a set amount of time. last week i increased the time before that happens but i’m told i can’t leave it open indefinitely.


October 27th, 2011
2:17 am

I am personally set to start ignoring under-performing local newspapers / web sites / blogs after years of incompetent coverage.

I have been a fan of the Hawks since they moved to Atlanta when I was in the sixth grade. I have grown weary of half a$$ed phone it in coverage by the monopoly daily.

“The blog is automatically…” is a very concise summary of the the third rate journalism I have come to expect from Cox.

Who will be extinct first the AJC or the Atlanta Spirit Group, LLC? I fervently hope the answer is BOTH!

MC clock in now

October 27th, 2011
2:31 am

You have been on vacation for a few months. Covering the Dream does not count. I hope posting a blog every week or three is not too exhausting for you. Atlanta NBA fans hope for coverage that is half as good as what you find in Oklahoma City, Orlando, Memphis, New Orleans, and other small market pro basketball cities. Everybody knows that Gearon, Gearon, Levenson, Sydell, et al suck. I expected better out of you. Bring back Richie Guerin!


October 27th, 2011
2:44 am

LOL @ people getting mad at MC for not reporting on the Hawks . . . DURING A LOCKOUT. Like there is much news to report.

Some of you need to get a life.

As for the story . . . here we go again. Even when the ASG wants to sell the team, they can’t even sell to the right people to get a deal done right away.

Hopefully Mr. A can convince the league that he can buy the Hawks. Otherwise, I may have to play the MEGA Millions and Powerball this weekend . .. hit the jackpot . . then call up Diddy to see if he wants to become majority owners of the Hawks.

With Jay-Z being a part owner, surely we can get a celeb with deep pockets to own the Hawks, along with my lottery money. He can be the face of the franchise, while I run the basketball side of things.


October 27th, 2011
3:15 am

LOL @ northcyde defending the absolute worst coverage by any NBA beat writer during the lockout.

Is MC on strike / locked out?

Good luck on the PowerBall or MegaMillions northcyde. You could not possibly do worse than the current regime with or without some hip-hop poser as a front man. I am rooting for you.

Buddy Grizzard

October 27th, 2011
3:57 am

darrell starks fellini’s v-bad. Avondale Pizza Cafe best Pizza in tha A.

Buddy Grizzard

October 27th, 2011
4:30 am

Also, Al Horford is the third best center in the NBA according to ESPN’s NBArank Project:

Top Ranked By Position — C
1. Dwight Howard (2)
2. Tim Duncan (19)
3. Al Horford (25)
4. Marc Gasol (26)
5. Joakim Noah (29)


Buddy Grizzard

October 27th, 2011
4:38 am

5. Al Horford at No. 25: Too high, too low or just right?

Dan Feldman, PistonPowered: Too high. Horford is Joakim Noah (No. 29) and Andrew Bogut (No. 33) with more offensive polish. Still, I’d trade Horford’s scoring and passing for Noah’s and Bogut’s abilities to make stops and inspire teammates.

Jordan Heimer, ClipperBlog: Just right. Most NBA fans don’t know that Horford was named to last season’s All-NBA third team. True, he doesn’t have the footwork in the low block you like to see in a star center. But his midrange jumper has improved dramatically, he passes well out of the post, and few bigs are more comfortable defending the perimeter.

Ian Levy, Two-Man Game: Just right, although inside the top 25 we’re really splitting hairs. Horford may not be exceptional in any one area, but he’s very good in many. All-around skill level on offense and defense means Horford belongs in the top 25. A lack of dominance means he belongs right at the edge.

Darius Soriano, Forum Blue And Gold: Just right. Horford is one of the best shooting big men in the league and is a plus individual and team defender. He’s the type of hard-hat player every contending team needs. That said, his low-post game still needs work and he struggles to create his own shot, unlike more polished offensive players.

Michael Wallace, Too high. And it’s not even Horford’s fault. In many ways, he’s still trying to find his comfort zone between center and power forward. Once he figures out what he is, it’ll be easier to get a handle on where he should rank.


October 27th, 2011
6:30 am

Yet another story showing what kind of joke the NBA has become. I can’t believe that they would approve the sale to a group like the Spirit but not Murelo. Honestly, at this point, who cares. The NBA’s fan base was shrinking before the strike. I wonder how many fans, like myself will take time to go back to it. After the baseball strike I didn’t watch a game for 3 years and have only been to the Rome Braves. Millionaires and Billionaires fighting for money is sickening to the public. These players walking around with “ice” dripping from them talking about “wanting what’s fair”. Owners talk of losing money, but not on the balance sheets. Creative accounting. You know who loses? The fans, the employees in the arenas and the restaurants and shops around the arenas. People barely making ends meet.

What a joke the NBA has become!


October 27th, 2011
7:31 am

The Hawks just can’t catch a break. Getting stuck with BASG instead of McDavid, Marvin Williams instead of a PG, the JJ SNT leading to litigation, Hawks suffering the worst playoff loss ever, but then JJ gets $124 mil and having a down year etc. I’m sure fans have other examples.

Maybe Meruelo should round up some of the ATL entertainers, and let them buy some minority stakes (like Will Smith having a small stake in the sixers, Jay-Z having a stake in the Nets etc).


October 27th, 2011
7:32 am


How do you feel about your Cardinals possibly going to the Big 12?

A concerned fan..

October 27th, 2011
7:47 am

ESPN’S Chris Brousard said a deal could be in place for a couple of days after a 14 hour meeting yesterday. They will also be meeting today.

A concerned fan..

October 27th, 2011
7:48 am

Sorry, in a couple of days for my previous post.


October 27th, 2011
8:02 am

(for) – Michael Cunningham or anyone else:

They tell you you can only keep it open for “so long” ?
* Perhaps a new blog up might remedy that.

gimme a break – does this guy give you free tickets ?
* Nothing to report? Hell – Tim Tucker reported this !
** MC only copied & pasted … reported … harrumph ?

O’ B;
nice try, I see what your doin’.
* let’s hope it works.

Michael Cunningham;
Do not call me a hater, I do not hate you.
I have never thought you were passionate about your work.
I still think the same.
northcyde can rip me to shreds – I can think what I think.
If you had a passion for bsketball, and writing;
you would find an outlet / forum !
If you had a pair – you would … never mind …
you would already know what to say to the AJC !
* [were it important]
** Believe it or not,
I’m on your side & the side of the blog youn man.


October 27th, 2011
8:04 am

-young man- “respectfully”


October 27th, 2011
8:21 am

I used to love this team, now they are barely likable.

Najeh Davenpoop

October 27th, 2011
10:34 am

“Horford is Joakim Noah (No. 29) and Andrew Bogut (No. 33) with more offensive polish.”

Horford has more offensive polish than Bogut? Hmm. I don’t know about that one.


October 27th, 2011
10:40 am

Another headscratcher. How come the intial due diligence did not reveal any problems? Both the ASG and the NBA have to be held accountable if there is a problem with Mr. Merleo’s bid at this stage of the game.

Nate ArchiBALL

October 27th, 2011
11:22 am

@Mike – What are the components of Basketball Related Income (BRI) and what income sources are excluded from BRI?

Astro Joe

October 27th, 2011
11:56 am

I agree, it is one thing for the league to suggest that dude’s cash flow might be lacking, it is another thing for the ASG to suggest the same. Isn’t it their responsibility to ensure that they are selling to someone who can complete the purchase (including navigating the ownership approval process defined by the league)? I guess the only potential bright side is that they may have uncovered some issues BEFORE having to enter into yet anohter lawsuit regarding this team.


October 27th, 2011
2:14 pm

Maybe little hope that a deal gets done owners and players have made a lot progress one reason that there was a snag is the lockout Chris Brousard is usually right on the money hope he is right about a deal getting done .


October 27th, 2011
2:16 pm

I smell coverup by the ASG .

Not even a basketball fan

October 27th, 2011
2:17 pm

The hold up of the sale probably has something to do with the shady extension of credit to Meruelo by the ATL Stupid Group, a credit line which just happens to be the amount those stooges collected in the sale of the Thrashers a few short months ago. Many NBA owners / teams are hemmoraghing money and I doubt Stern really want to rubber stamp yet another shallow-pocketed owner to run a team in a black market the NBA MUST maintain for TV ratings. Wise up fools!

Trade Horford

October 27th, 2011
2:23 pm

Bogut can’t pick and pop, understands spacing but jumper is broke


October 27th, 2011
2:25 pm

I think the deal will get done it just going have to wait until the end of the lockout is my guess if ASG tries to weasel out this deal then ASG better never set foot in Atlanta again.

Section 303

October 27th, 2011
3:15 pm

I’m setting myself up for a major letdown, but I believe a deal will be made. That’s a 180-degree turn from my stance the past year (I’ve always said there would be no 2011-2012 season). But, twitter reports and comments from Stern and the NBAPA have my hopes up.

I just cannot believe this entire issue with Meruelo. What next?! One thing after another with this organization. Nothing is allowed to go smoothly. Always has to be something…..very f’ing annoying.


October 27th, 2011
3:19 pm

Grandad . . what do you want MC to report on? Marvin’s workouts at UNC? Josh Smith’s anniversary? JJ riding across the country in his truck?

We can’t even comment on what free agents are available to add to this team until they settle this lockout. We got a whopping 9 players under contract, with the only people doing anything basketball noteworthy are Pape Sy and Keith Benson ( both who are struggling right now overseas ).

We can’t even speculate on who we need to get until this lockout is over.

I guess some of you guys like the tabloid news style of reporting, in which rumors get passed on as “facts”, just for the sake of conversation.

As soon as the lockout ends, I’m sure that MC will give all of us all we need concerning the Hawks. In the meantime, watch the Falcons or hope the Georgia Bulldogs don’t mess up their shot of reaching the SEC title game in December.


October 27th, 2011
3:35 pm

Powerball is “only” 203 million. If I take the lump sum, that’s 1/2 of that + about 40% taxes. That would leave me with about 60 million.

I’d put up 35 million as a part owner of the Hawks ( as long as I get to run the team ). So I need to find at least another 150 million, to buy the team.

How about a new ownership group . the AEC ( Atlanta Entertainment Conglomerate ) . . with me, Diddy, Tyler Perry, and Oprah as the new ownership group. Those other 3 can handle the marketing of the team as they see fit. I’m sure they would do a much better job of bringing out people to the arena.

- Diddy would love to do a music video like pre-game intro of the Hawks, with him all up in the shot as much as possible. He’d add a buzz to Hawks games from an entertainment standpoint. Maybe our courtside seats would feature Atlanta’s entertainment elite, much like what you see at Laker and Knicks games

- Tyler could promote his movies and plays in between stoppages of play. He’s a big hit with the church going crowd in Atlanta, so maybe they’d come out to more games just to see Tyler. He has Hollywood connections as well.

- Oprah would be the major player though and probably majority owner. The first female owner in the NBA. The most powerful woman in the world, as far as entertainment. Let her work the female side of things, especially seeing how Atlanta is full of professional women who would just love to spend their entertainment dollar on various things. Maybe Oprah can get them out to more Hawks games. Have a “Ladies Night” on one of those Tuesday night games in which we’d only get 10,000 in the arena for a Detroit game.

- Just let me handle the basketball side. I’ll make the right moves and bring in the right role players, along with a player or two just to bring out extra people to the arena. And yes, I would be looking to trade either Josh Smith or Al Horford to improve the team. And I’m not passing over a potential superstar player in a draft, just because we have a “need” in one area. I would’ve made that mistake with Shelden Williams over Brandon Roy . . . but never again. You can always find a solid role player. Stars and superstars are much harder to find.

Section 303

October 27th, 2011
3:55 pm

northcyde, in the meantime….I’m going to Lincoln, NE this weekend to watch my SPARTANS continue their quest for a Big Ten Title. Go GREEN!

ant banks

October 27th, 2011
4:26 pm

i hope that the owners get what they want during the lockout. i would still support the team, when it is over, EVEN if we lose a whole season. in the NBA, there are only 10 teams that have a legitimate shot each year…KINGS, CLIPPERS, CAVALIERS, HORNETS, BUCKS, HAWKS, GOLDEN STATE, WIZARDS, NETS, KNICKS don’t have a shot year in and year out.

in the NFL though…YOUR TEAM HAS A SHOT EVERY YEAR…THE CARDINALS, GIANTS, TAMPA BAY, RAIDERS, PATRIOTS, NEW ORLEANS, COLTS all had a shot in the 2000’s (the falcons did in ‘98).

i would love for my team to have a CHANCE in any given year

ant banks

October 27th, 2011
4:27 pm

nba needs to follow the nfl model

Buddy Grizzard

October 27th, 2011
5:04 pm

My comment from 4 AM still awaiting moderation? Thanks for all the great work.

drmaryb .(*_*).

October 27th, 2011
5:12 pm

Can I still snag one of those BEEFCAKES for myself? Cold winter nights ahead!!

Rod from College Park

October 27th, 2011
5:18 pm

Buddy Grizzard,

The worst thing about your post is that ESPN and a number of other publications who focus on basketball seem to think that Horford is a top 5 Center, but Horford does not want to be a center. He wants to be a PF, where he would not be top 10 PF, and force our top 10 PF to be a SF, where he is not a top 10 SF. Only the Hawks. LOL


October 27th, 2011
7:06 pm

There won’t even be a regular season…the NBA will simply appoint the Celtics to play the Lakers in the championship…

Mike is Back

October 27th, 2011
9:11 pm

WHATZUP MC, isn’t that an oxymoron…THE BASG…calling someone out for not having CASH…jeeeeeeez!!LOL

DANG OB and Grandad…I see the flame still burns bright…ANYWAY Grandad…MC just works for the AJC…HE don’t own

MC, hopefully things will work…I can’t stomach the thought of another season…WITH A BUNCH OF LOW FOYERS…LIKE THE BASG.

OOOOOOOOOOOPS…did I mention…I hope this sell go through.

Hey, GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!…heh heh

Najeh Davenpoop

October 27th, 2011
10:04 pm

“Diddy would love to do a music video like pre-game intro of the Hawks, with him all up in the shot as much as possible. He’d add a buzz to Hawks games from an entertainment standpoint. Maybe our courtside seats would feature Atlanta’s entertainment elite, much like what you see at Laker and Knicks games”

Maybe they would also sell Cambodian breast milk at the concession stand.

Buddy Grizzard

October 27th, 2011
11:58 pm

Grandad . . what do you want MC to report on? – northcyde

How about reporting on Zaza Pachulia’s apparently serious injury?

Zaza is hurt

October 28th, 2011
12:00 am


October 28th, 2011
12:01 am

LeBron recruting JC1

October 28th, 2011
12:02 am

Buddy G

October 28th, 2011
12:13 am

So anyway the blog is censoring me… I posted several legit stories yesterday but they are still “awaiting moderation” so I just posted from a different web browser.

October 28th, 2011
12:52 am

HBCU Football Update

Miles 9
Stillman 7

Miles 2011 SIAC Western Division Champs!!!


October 28th, 2011
1:26 am

I don’t need you to tell me anything to do or not to do.
Neither what to think or say,
or what not to think or say.

By the way;
my Dawgs took a big step toward the SEC title game …
goin’ 2 & 0 vs teams from 10RC.

I realize MC works for the BA-AJC.
The AJC treats basketball like alot of other folks in this state;
lethargy, apathy, and general DGAS.
The GHSA is even worse.

Back to the point;
there has been NBA news !
One just has to go find it.
The trouble is;
Our little blog community … is shut out.
Truly, I miss my friends on the blog.

Lastly, nc, I have plenty to do !
However, everyone needs a hobby.
I happen to enjoy this one.

One other last item;
had there not been a blog today,
you nor I would have had the chance,
to make an ass out of ourselves today.
Evenin’ all,