Atlanta Hawks: NBA commish-in-waiting Adam Silver says Hawks ownership now stable

By Michael Cunningham

Adam Silver, who is set to replace David Stern as NBA commissioner next spring, said he’s pleased with the investments and commitments made by Hawks owner since a potential sale of the team last year fell through.

“I’m really encouraged by everything I’m hearing and seeing here in addition to the new investment I’m seeing in the [Philips Arena] building here,” Silver said before the Hawks played the Magic last night. “Bruce [Levenson] has become a much more active owner since that aborted sale. He’s now on several important ownership committees. He’s given a long-term agreement to [GM] Danny Ferry. He’s become much more involved in the community.

“I think the franchise has been more than stabilized. I think the prospects are terrific. I’ve personally spent increasing amounts of time with Bruce. He’s clearly passionate about this team and passionate about this team being successful in this market.”

Silver, currently the league’s deputy commissioner, was in Atlanta to meet with Turner Broadcasting executives. He said he also wanted to attend his first Hawks game this season see the improvements made at Philips Arena, which include new video boards and a restaurant. Silver said he was scheduled met to meet after the game with Hawks owners and Ferry.

The NBA last November nixed a sale agreement between Hawks owners and Los Angeles businessman Alex Meruelo after it concluded Meruelo could not meet its financial requirements to operate the team. Last month Levenson said he and his partners considered themselves “extremely fortunate” the sale fell through and are focused on building the franchise for the long term.

Ferry signed a six-year contract with the Hawks last summer. Ferry said at the time that he was persuaded to take the job because of Levenson’s assurances of a long-term commitment to the franchise and promise of increased investments in basketball operations.

77 comments Add your comment

Tim C.

November 20th, 2012
2:06 pm

Hey Bruce, thanks for killing the Thrashers. Good job, good effort.


November 20th, 2012
2:16 pm


November 20th, 2012
2:19 pm

Wait, so once Mikey Junior stopped being a control freak with the team we have seen improvements? Whodathunkit?

Sage of Bluesland

November 20th, 2012
2:34 pm

Thanks, Bruce. Couldn’t have destroyed a hockey franchise better if I tried. At least the bumbling, blustering Don Waddell is gone forever. Even better: no NHL anywhere this season, and thank goodness for that.

GT Alum

November 20th, 2012
2:36 pm

We’ll see. All they’ve done so far about the team itself is dump contracts. And so far, these guys have earned about as much credibility as owners as Loria has in MLB.


November 20th, 2012
2:50 pm

Well hockey fans, your hopes and dreams of the NHL returning to Atlanta, with the arrival of a new owner of the Hawks, are over. With Bruce Levenson large and in charge, we won’t see hockey anytime soon.

Me, personally, I’m glad the Thrashers are someplace where someone might begin to take care of them.


November 20th, 2012
2:59 pm

We just need to tank and get a top draft pick.


November 20th, 2012
3:02 pm

For everything you need to know about Hockey and the Spirit, check out this awesome blog from Bill Tiller, aka “Rawhide.”


November 20th, 2012
3:16 pm

“Bruce [Levenson] has become a much more active owner since that aborted sale. He’s now on several important ownership committees. He’s given a long-term agreement to [GM] Danny Ferry. He’s become much more involved in the community.”

Losing millions will certainly motivate you..Especially if you built your Empire from the ground up unlike the other guy who was born with a silver spoon..Hmmmmmmm


November 20th, 2012
3:21 pm

Sage, great to see you posting again! And Tim C.!

Hey guys, I was just thinking the other day about how Michael Gearon, a part-owner of the Thrashers with Bruce Levenson, once was quoted, in the AJC and on 680TheFan, as having said, or using words to the effect of, “I’ve had to write a lot of checks for this team (The Thrashers), over the years.”

Calling all husbands, boyfriends, and fiances of the male persuasion. Gather ’round, fellas. I want to you imagine that today is not November 20th, but rather, Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day, your Anniversary, of the birthday of the beloved woman in your life.

Still with me?

Now, I want you to imagine that your precious, lovely has just asked you, “So, what’d you get me as a present to mark this momentous occasion?”

Still onboard?

And your answer back to her is, “Darling, as you know, I’ve had to write a lot of checks for you over the years.”

Lemme tell ya somethin’, you might not get off that couch for the rest of the month. And you might have to take up permanent residence out in the backyard, with the family pooch, in that dog house.

And yet, that’s exactly what Gearon’s response to Thrashers fans was! He was complaining about HAVING TO SPEND MONEY on the Thrashers! Well, he’s the owner!! Who ELSE is supposed to write those checks? Sasquatch? The abominable snowman? The Tooth Fairy? And is “spitting in the face” of your fanbase really the proper thing to do … if you’re actually trying to maintain an NHL franchise, in a non-traditional market?

Obviously, the answer is that Gearon didn’t care a bit about the Thrashers, despite him taking to the airwaves to publicly weep over their relocation to Winnipeg. And I think court documents revealed that the ownership group. as a whole, tried to ditch the team something close to 5 minutes after they acquired it, back in 2003. But they were required, by NHL bylaws, to maintain the franchise for 5 years. Then the Belkin lawsuit hit in 2004. And it took seven years to run out of appeals. Hence, in 2011, the team was gone.

But it didn’t just make like a tree and leave. It left BECAUSE the Spirit, LLC, refused to give up a percentage of the revenues of Philips Arena to any PROSPECTIVE BUYER, which included Coca-Cola and Home Depot, and I think, a muli-national bank, whose name escapes me. But they wanted the Hawks, the Thrashers, and Philips Arena as a 3-component package deal.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, “We determine the viability of an NHL city based on the interest-level of a local buyer. The Spirit Group, LLC, tried for two years to find one, unsuccessfully.” Well, gee. Anybody really buying any of that cr@p? The bottom line was … the Spirit made the team’s local acquisition completely UNPROFITABLE, to the tune of an annual $30 million sinkhole.

Who’s gonna buy an annual liability of $30 million? Had the Spirit agreed to share some revenues generated from the arena, then a local buyer could have, and would have, been found. And the Thrashers and the NHL would still be here, labor disputes not withstanding.

Bygones, folks. At least, we’re all saving money on the Center Ice package this year.


November 20th, 2012
3:22 pm

Falcons next 6 are going to be interesting indeed..


November 20th, 2012
3:28 pm

In fairness it takes a stable ownership to produce a Championship level franchise!

Go Hawks!!!!!!! hehehehe


November 20th, 2012
3:31 pm


“Josh needs a shooting coach to work with him all season and in the off season..Playing at the small forward is really exposing his broke jumper big time..

Ken S. is on point that Josh is losing confidence and that’s what happens when you are continually misfiring around the perimeter.. Now the misses are affecting his free throw shooting too? Oh boy..

This is more than Larry can manage unfortunately…Why not delegate? Hmmmmm

9-1? The falls come harder…”


November 20th, 2012
3:32 pm


November 20th, 2012
3:34 pm

And yes the the Carmelo led Knicks are [FOR REAL]!


November 20th, 2012
3:58 pm

So the new commish in waiting says the Hawks are stable. It’s like trying to get over an adulterous affair. It is difficult for the fan to to get over the sale of the Thrashers and how the Hawks were almost sold too. Only because the NBA refused their chaotic dealing, we still have a team!


November 20th, 2012
4:07 pm

So happy to see stability in the organization…. This is one of the things that will help us get freee agents in the future.

Luv Josh Smith

November 20th, 2012
4:41 pm

“I’m really encouraged by everything I’m hearing and seeing here in addition to the new investment I’m seeing in the [Philips Arena] building here,” Silver said before the Hawks played the Magic last night.

You should read these blogs in here sometimes. One would think the franchise has fallen off the cliff. We have a GM who, so far, has given the faithful hope for the future by changing the face of franchise and with deft recruiting and retention of good pieces will usher in a new era of success. Just stand aside and let the gentleman do his thing.

Hawks Fan From Day One

November 20th, 2012
5:02 pm

I mean really, who gives a wet fart about the damn Thrashers? This is the Hawks blog. Show some respect and quit crying over spilled milk and a team that couldn’t sell, er……give away tickets to that lame duck sport. Hockey in a hot climate……HA! The very nerve! Go Hawks!


November 20th, 2012
5:30 pm

yawn, 0-8.

is anyone watching hockey this year in north america at a pro level?

hockey fans everywhere are paying into a dying sport and should be pizzed. hate that the asg got it right because i like hockey being a die hard flames fan …. bernie! that sport is more dysfunctional as a league as the asg was as an organization. get over it dudes, it aint coming back. the whole of the nhl is going into the crapper with the second strike, in how many years?

Ghost of Woody

November 20th, 2012
5:30 pm

What happend to my eyebrows???

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

November 20th, 2012
5:37 pm


November 20th, 2012
5:53 pm

The true title for this blog should have been “NBA commish-in-waiting Adam Silver says Hawks ownership now stable AFTER THEY RUINED HOCKEY IN ATLANTA”

Thrashers be gone

November 20th, 2012
6:39 pm

Like the Dinosaurs and Neanderthals they went extinct. Can we shed a tear or two.


November 20th, 2012
7:02 pm


November 20th, 2012
4:03 pm


Yeah, 12-4 is what I see and that’s more than I thought before the season. But I STILL think they are at best the 3rd or 4th best team in the NFC.They DO have a favorable schedule this year.

Niners, Packers, Bears (with Cutler), and maybe the Giants look as good or better to me today. And that’s not counting the Saints, OR the Bucs.

Still, I’ll enjoy every game, win or lose.

The playoffs will tell us a lot. So will this week at Tampa.”

These next 6 games will either make them stronger or materialize into the domino effect that causes another playoff meltdown..

Stay Tuned, its gonna get REAL interesting..I sure hope they do not meet Frisco or the Giants in the Playoff!


The schedule that these Falcons drew this season, must of cost Mr. Blank a fortune? Yes…


November 20th, 2012
7:13 pm

Cosigning Otis.

Al’s 7 turnovers in game 6 against Boston is why there is was no game 7

How in the hell can your center turn the ball over 7 times when he doesn’t handle the ball? what the fck is that?

Ken Strickland

November 20th, 2012
7:15 pm

IGNORANCE is a commodity that every human possesses, that’s called STUPIDITY.
+ you are an anal minded moron
When they continuously reject or refuse to accept that knowledge, no matter how many times or different ways it’s presented, and they hide their DELUSIONAL BS by using multiple names, yet continuously repeat the same STUPID DELUSIONAL BS over and over, then that’s called EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED, or INSANE. We definitely have at least 1 or 2 who fit this definition on these blogs. because they are psychologically damaged and just don’t know how to act. We’re seeing more and more of that type of mental deficiency being played out daily on these blogs by STEVEN A SMITH, and all of the various TS manifestations.
Only an extremely sick and immature mind could consistently derive any pleasure or satisfaction out of such a childish endeavor. It’s been said that there’s a thin line between genius and insanity, you anal minded moron. as s holes only sautee and I are geniuses the rest of you are truely insane, but they’re also dumber than 2 dead gnats.That is TS and Steven A. Smith and any other Anal minded as s hole moron psycho muther fcker who is not a fan of Al horford Fck you. Get some help you sick anal minded MORONS!!!!!!
and another thing go see a psycho doctor like me As s hole. Me and Sautee are the only smart ones and we are Al horford fans right Sautee?


November 20th, 2012
7:49 pm

What ever we get in the Al horford trade we should take. Move Josh back to Power Forward where he is one of the best in the NBA. He does not belong at small forward. Josh is too nice trying to keep Al on the team by letting Al play his position. We cant coexist with 2 starting power forwards and a back up center. Since Al cant/wont play center ship him for Al Jefferson and lets put this team back were it belongs. – Go Hawks

Ken Strickland. See a doctor dude… quick.


November 20th, 2012
7:50 pm

Man, we should have kept Woody and traded Marvin, Al teague, and Drew for a real center.


November 20th, 2012
8:47 pm

Stable should never be used in any sentence that references A$G.

Hawks fans, think back to what A$G was saying about loving the Hawks – right before they announced the proposed sale to LA pizza king.

And poor Danny Ferry. And poor CViv – can’t get away from these congenital liars.

Harry Hawk

November 20th, 2012
8:51 pm

I’ll never care for our ownership, especially with how they botched hockey here. I’m glad Danny Ferry was hired, if only for the fact that he got rid of Joe’s contract. If we get rid of Drew and get lucky with some players, maybe we’ll be a contender someday. Otherwise, it’ll just be the same old, though a little less offensive, Hawks.


November 20th, 2012
9:00 pm

Woody has always been a good regular season coach once he got the talent. Get back to me when the playoffs arrive and stategic adjustments are needed.


November 20th, 2012
9:07 pm

Levenson had ownership in another professional sports franchise in another state and lost that city their franchise.
Wake up Atlanta sports fans, this guy is poison, an arrogant ass that does not give a crap about us fans and apparently not the team or Philips Arena until he was forced to “clean up” the place. Slum lord.
Don’t let an attempt of a PR makeover cloud your mind.

Hawks need an ownership that has business sense and integrity.

Rev in Tampa

November 20th, 2012
9:11 pm


You are more optimistic about the Bucs chances than anybody in Tampa.


November 20th, 2012
9:28 pm

I wondered what happened to the Thrasher’s blog. That being said I do not believe a word of the ASG spin. Congratulations on finally replacing the video boards. I think Ferry deserves the benefit of the doubt. Levenson, Gearon Jr., et al not so much.


November 20th, 2012
9:51 pm

Hay u guys, have ya ever considered Sam Mitchell as a replacement coach? After listening to him on NBATV, he makes a whole lot of sense, appears to know how to use the correct players at the right time, and someone who might be able control Josh Smith..what yall thk?


November 20th, 2012
9:55 pm

Yea Harry Hawk I have to agree with you. You have probably noticed the turnstiles have turned less and less. The fans arent fooled. Al horford and Jeff teague (to projects) are going to get you past the 2nd round and we may not make it out of the 1st.

Now Josh is being forced to play the 3 so Al horford and has few fans will STFU.

Sad. Josh looks unhappy and miserable… and the hawks stink.

I cant figure out why would you take a very good power forward out of his position and replace him with one who is not as good… makes no sense.. but then we have Larry Phew :twisted: and his sick coaching to thank for caving in to the stupid Horford fans.


November 20th, 2012
9:56 pm

I’m surprised Chris V. didn’t write this article, since he sold his soul to Atlanta Spirit Group to write nice things about them. Looks like the water at Philips Arena is tainted again. Won’t be setting foot into that place, until ALL OF THEM ARE GONE!!!


November 20th, 2012
9:59 pm

Knicks up 25 in the 4th!




November 20th, 2012
10:01 pm

Hey guys excitement excitement!! I am going to start my very first blog site. All of you are welcome to come. Just be kind and sweet to one another. Here’s the link. Sign up I need your opinions.


November 20th, 2012
10:07 pm

I don’t post so much anymore or even have the patience to dredge through most of the posts because our blog has been hijacked by trolls and homos.

And AJC can’t do anything about it.

Hawks blog used to be informative, full of great opinions by the old school bloggers, now they don’t even show anymore, just like I don’t. Even Kevin Strickland’s handle was cloned!

Trolls, homos, enjoy having the blog to yourselves.


November 20th, 2012
10:09 pm

MsDee, Danny will probably give Coach Brown a look since they go back to the Cleveland-Lebron days..

Sam Mitchell better keep his night jobs on NBA TV and 92.9 “The game”..


November 20th, 2012
10:32 pm

Well now we know nba exec is a lier. Atlanta Hawks management is as unstable as it gets we were “sold” then cancled


November 20th, 2012
11:59 pm

A Realist

November 21st, 2012
12:44 am


It’s as if the thrashers were selling out and left. No one went. At some point ownership is only so much the problem. Also, look more to the NHL. In warm weather cities that dot typically house hokey franchises the NHL has invested large sums of money in youth systems so that a fan base would actually grow up with a team. Look at Tampa for a perfect example of that. None of that happened in Atlanta. Then when you’re done, remind yourself how many people were in the stands at a typical thrashers game and you’ll understand why their departure is not all on the owners.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 21st, 2012
1:08 am

138 points is a lot, but that game was not exactly the most competitive game in the history of basketball.


November 21st, 2012
3:28 am

“What ever we get in the Al horford trade we should take. Move Josh back to Power Forward where he is one of the best in the NBA.”

LMAO… Puff puff pass. The Hawks have looked better without Josh, and looked terrible without Al.

Joey T

November 21st, 2012
3:35 am

Josh has more shots taken than points scored. He belongs on the perimeter because he doesn’t want to bang. He doesn’t want to bang because he doesn’t want to shoot free throws. He doesn’t want to shoot FTs because he can’t make ‘em and it’s in his head. Its in his head so he’d rather defer. He’d rather defer so he belongs on the perimeter. The circle of life. The end.


November 21st, 2012
5:51 am

Off-topic, but always on topic:

I always like to take a peak to www . 82games . com:

Even shooting horribly, Smith has a positive impact on court. People should never forget that.

Proper coaching, by someone with charisma and basketball knowledge COULD push him into a completely different level.

Right now we have coach which:

- is not a disciplinarian by any stretch of imagination;
- loves jump shots and jump shooters and had designed an offence which relies on jump shots;

These two factors make LD unable to coach Josh.

Josh needs:

- to be disciplined (as Woody managed to instil during his last season);
- an offence which features him frequently on ISO on his best/sweetest spots from which he can either make a play for himself or for others using his quickness and excellent passing ability.

All this ball rotation and in particular the use of Josh frequently as a SF within this offence is bound to place him frequently open but away from the basket.

How can we demand that a guy who has trouble understanding that he is not effective from midrange (or that has a mental block whilst shooting) stop shooting under these characteristics??

Key word: “COULD”.

I am not a Josh apologist, but I am a fan of his. A guy who has the Hawks logo tattooed on his arm and has said that he back to being fully committed to be a Hawk deserves my trust until I see him playing under a REAL HEAD COACH.

If he failed under quality guidance, then I will give up. Until then, just like we did with the “CORE”, we are just wasting talent and Josh’s best years.

LD has to go YESTERDAY.


November 21st, 2012
7:28 am

It is way to late for this news. The damage is done and the fans have had enough of these guys. This is still the worst ownership group in the history of sports and that includes Charlie Finley of the A’s