So who’s the Hawks’ mystery buyer? Why, it could be …

This is a beluga whale. It can't shoot jumpers very well, either. (AJC photo by John Spink)

This is a beluga whale. It can't shoot jumpers very well, either. (AJC photo by John Spink)

Respected journalists Ian Thomsen of SI.com and David Aldridge of NBA.com have reported that the Atlanta Hawks are about to be sold to a mystery buyer. Bruce Levenson, one of the Hawks’ many owners, said Thomsen’s initial report was “not true.”

Still, whenever the words “mystery buyer” arise, it’s human nature to try and affix a name and face. Consider me human. Possible buyers for the Hawks could – could, I said — include:

Who: Bernie Marcus. Why him? The Home Depot co-founder and Georgia Aquarium patriarch might be weary of seeing Arthur Blank get all the civic kudos. Possible complication: If Marcus thought beluga whales could be intransigent creatures, wait until he tries to get Josh Smith to stop hoisting jump shots.

Who: Mike Woodson. Why him? He used to coach the Hawks but always claimed, due to outside business interests, he didn’t need the money. Possible complication: First move would be to fire Larry Drew, his former assistant who was promoted to head coach on the dubious-but-apparently-compelling argument that Mean Old Woody never listened to his clever ideas.

Who: David McDavid. Why him? The Texas car dealer tried to buy the Hawks (and the Thrashers, and Philips Arena) way back when, only to see the Atlanta Spirit cut in front. Possible complication: McDavid won $281 million in a lawsuit against Time Warner and has never had to sit through a losing game. At last check, the man is not nuts.

"It's a good look, don't you think?" (AJC file photo)

"It's a good look, don't you think?" (AJC file photo)

Who: Jane Fonda. Why her? Her ex-husband used to own the team. Possible complication: First move would be to change the team’s uniforms to incorporate leotards and leg warmers.

Who: Steve Belkin. Why him? He used to own part of the Hawks (and the Thrashers, et cetera) before his Spirit brethren bought him. Possible complication: First move would be to dump Joe Johnson, his rationale being, “I told you he wasn’t worth that much.”

Who: Joe Johnson. Why him? Owing to his $123 million contract, he’s rich enough to own a team. Possible complication: First move would be to carry the Iso-Joe offense to its logical extreme, meaning he’d fire all the coaches and all the other players and let the player-owner take every shot.

Who: Billy Knight. Why him? The former Hawks general manager has had three years to plot his next move. Possible complication: Next move would be to draft more 6-foot-8 wingmen.

Who: Don Leebern. Why him? The powerful Georgia booster might be looking for a new challenge for Suzanne Yoculan, whom he identifies as his fiancee. Possible complication: Irresistible Force, meet Immovable Object. Could even the decorated gymnastics coach manage to keep Marvin Williams from falling down so often?

Rashan Michel, post-'Nique.

Rashan Michel, post-'Nique.

Who: Dominique Wilkins. Why him? He’s the greatest player in Atlanta Hawks history and has always longed for a bigger role. Possible complication: Should the Hawks lose, under no circumstances should a Philips Arena patron approach Wilkins afterward and ask for a refund. The last such postgame monetary solicitation ended badly for the solicitor.

Who: Gary Bettman. Why him? The NHL commissioner made his reputation as David Stern’s NBA aide-de-camp. Possible complication: Disgruntled Thrashers fans would form a human chain around Philips Arena before every Hawks game, preventing entry to all who would subsidize a venture of Benedict Bettman’s.

Who: Justin Bieber. Why him? His mentor Usher owns a part of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Possible complication: First move would be to order Zaza Pachulia to adopt the Bieb-style bowl haircut. Zaza’s first response would be to head-butt his new owner.

Who: Bruce Levenson. Why him? Could there be a more mysterious buyer than the part-owner who claimed there was no mystery buyer? Possible complication: With the pesky Gearons out of the way, the path might seem clear for Levenson’s plans for world domination. But let’s see if the Hawks can reach the Eastern Conference finals first.

By Mark Bradley

135 comments Add your comment

Michael

June 29th, 2011
10:46 am

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2011
10:48 am

Michael is kudo’ed.

Michael

June 29th, 2011
10:50 am

And that’s one of the dumber articles you’ve ever written. That’s too bad because you could have taken it seriously, done some actual journalism, and turned it into a good piece on the future of the team. Instead, we get lame jokes.

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2011
10:50 am

Michael is also advised to lighten up.

HawkKingBibby

June 29th, 2011
10:53 am

Funny stuff. I hope however it is oil tycoons from Qatar.

MJC

June 29th, 2011
10:53 am

I must admit that I did laugh a few times while reading this.

Supes

June 29th, 2011
10:54 am

Mark…you have free time on your hands or something…Brian McCann is on an MVP like tear and you come up with this? Give B-Mac some love and maybe the northeastern biased national network known as ESPN will take note…how is Mac gonna get national attention if you or Schultzie (who is on vacation) won’t write it???

juvenal

June 29th, 2011
10:54 am

lame jokes very much in context when hawks are subject……

Alvin Greene

June 29th, 2011
10:55 am

I’ll take the team. I can do anything. Sell action heroes. I’ll even play point guard. Google me.

ROZEMAN13

June 29th, 2011
10:56 am

Mark,this article is the best of the best! Great humor to get the day going, Please do this more often. Thanks

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2011
10:56 am

Did I not write on Brian McCann, like, six days ago?

Marcus

June 29th, 2011
10:57 am

hope Thomsen and Aldridge know their stuff …. and the new owner(s) have more capital to support the teams playoff aspirations. Can we get Blank to be the Hawks sugar daddy? The color of the game ball is ‘Home Depot orange …

SC Ace

June 29th, 2011
10:57 am

What about the Russan mafioso billionaire that owns Chelsea. He’d likely be the only owner in NBA who had had rivals assassinated. A feud with Mark Cuban would be epic.

No Woody for Me

June 29th, 2011
10:58 am

Seems like it would be a perfect fit for one of the many hip-hop millionaires who reside in Atlanta. As a fan It would be worth it just to see the uniforms each year

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2011
10:58 am

I believe Roman Abramovich owns the Chelsea Blues, SC Ace. I’m sure he’d appreciate your characterization of him.

All I'm Saying Is....

June 29th, 2011
11:00 am

Juvenal, HawkKingBibby and MJC read it with the right ’spirit’ while Michael and Supes apparently have higher expectations from Bradley.

Me? I don’t care if they are sold as long as they stay in town, get a legit Center, figure out some stooge to take Marvin Williams off our hands, and discover a means to make Joe accept that with great wealth comes great responsibility for on the court fire and consistent production.

LET’S GO HAWKS!

Reggie Ball

June 29th, 2011
11:00 am

Mark you’re really mailing it in lately. This story fails at trying to be funny and provides nothing to the reader.

Hankie Aron

June 29th, 2011
11:01 am

Yes Michael, if he had any info or even a hunch on who that potential buyer might be then he would provide it. So instead of useless speculation, I”ll take a little humor

HawkKingBibby

June 29th, 2011
11:02 am

No you want the guys from Abu Dhabi that own Manchester City over Roman. Those guys would consider JJ’s contract as low budget.

GStateBen

June 29th, 2011
11:02 am

Ahh, the slow times of summer.

As long as there is a buyer, meaning one person, I believe everyone (Hawks fans, the city of Atlanta, the NBA) wins.

Next up an exhaustive list of who could buy the Braves…

Been there and Done That

June 29th, 2011
11:03 am

Everytrhing else in Micahel’s life must smell like roses if he is lame enough to claim first and then assail an article that most will find quite amusing

Hankie Aron

June 29th, 2011
11:05 am

If you want some speculation though, me thinks the buyer is Luducris and i won’t go to any more Hawks games because they would only play hip hop. Oh well

Notso Fast

June 29th, 2011
11:07 am

To much truth to be funny.

Hankie Aron

June 29th, 2011
11:07 am

Maybe the new owner will bring in some real actual hawks who eat raw meat and can do a mean ickey shuffle. That ought to get the crowd going.

Hankie Aron

June 29th, 2011
11:08 am

Buy the cheerleaders Hammer pants and we’re set. Just dont’ watch the game, it’s not pretty sometimes.

Jamaaliver

June 29th, 2011
11:13 am

MB’s second comment to Michael is one of the funniest I’ve seen.

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2011
11:15 am

Jamaaliver, I have to say I enjoyed that one myself.

dap01

June 29th, 2011
11:17 am

Funny article but I was hoping for a little substance.

BAMA dude

June 29th, 2011
11:21 am

Look at the glass as half full Mark. Michael said it was one of the dumbest, not THE dumbest.

scott

June 29th, 2011
11:23 am

I hope its that guy from LSU that USA Today was talking about earlier in the month. It was be excellent to have someone who actually played the game take the hawks to the next level of success

Bryan G.

June 29th, 2011
11:24 am

Well done Mark. There’s no reason for Schultz to have a monopoly on humor around here

THRASHERS Season Ticket Holder

June 29th, 2011
11:24 am

Hey, Bernie.

When the $#$(@# were you when Bruce Levenson was shipping our beloved THRASHERS out of town?!?!?

Day Late, Meet Dollar Short.

Anytime Bruce Levenson’s lips are moving, and they aren’t below Michael Gearon’s beltline at that point in time, it might be best to assume they are project more dishonesty.

DEAL WITH THAT!

Mike Jay

June 29th, 2011
11:25 am

Mark, you missed an easy one. You did not refer to the lack of physical play and what Jane Fonda could do to help! “I want to get physical, physical.”

Vulture

June 29th, 2011
11:27 am

I vote for Steve Belkin and dump Joe Johnson.

THRASHERS Season Ticket Holder

June 29th, 2011
11:28 am

….PROJECTING more dishonesty….

…and condescension….

Yes, I know tongue-in-cheek commentaries when I read them… usually…, but no member of the demonic cabal known as the Atlanta Spirit Group will be getting a Christmas Hockey Puck from me unless it is (painfully) going into an orifice.

Winnipeg can have the Hawks, too.

74 Dawg

June 29th, 2011
11:28 am

Mark, didn’t you realize only Shultz is allowed to write with tongue in cheek? I didn’t realize there were so many people who took you that seriously in the first place…

still recovering from the game7 loss to the celtics

June 29th, 2011
11:29 am

We’ve never recovered from the loss to the cetlics in the eastern conference semis in the 80s…one of the greatest pro games in my opinion…shootout between bird and nique in the games final quarter…had we won that game…we wouldn’t have “had” to get Theus and Malone…….

j

June 29th, 2011
11:30 am

You often write pretty good articles. This one missed the boat. You led me in thinking this would be a researched piece on what actually might become of this franchise. Instead it was filled with jokes.

74 Dawg

June 29th, 2011
11:33 am

“Instead it was filled with jokes”
Much like the ASG themselves.

bart

June 29th, 2011
11:37 am

As they say don’t quit your day job……or maybe this is your day job which you do need to quit…….this is too confusing………I’m going back to my night job……..

Brent

June 29th, 2011
11:43 am

Great piece, Mark. I’m still laughing .No more kudos for Michael.

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2011
11:44 am

Oh, I do, BAMA dude. And my response would be, “I’ve written a lot of stuff worse than this one.”

Bill

June 29th, 2011
11:45 am

I’m hoping Mark Cuban buys the Braves when the bean counters at Liberty Media finally can sell them.

SC Ace

June 29th, 2011
11:47 am

HawkKingBibby, I should note that I’m a City fan. I just like the Russian billionaire angle. Didn’t another Russian billionaire just buy the Nets? Could be an awesome rivalry, annual series in Moscow or something. Great theme music. Replace the cheerleaders with Cossack dancers.

In reality we’re probably looking at some corporation in Nebraska. The Mutual of Omaha Hawks or something.

smyrnabob

June 29th, 2011
11:50 am

oh….. you mean they are not taking the Hawks to Canada too?

I was really hoping for a CBA team here. Same talent level as the Hawks, but possibly better results in the post season.

Mike (not Michael)

June 29th, 2011
12:01 pm

Lame. A high schooler could have wrote that piece.

Jamaaliver

June 29th, 2011
12:04 pm

MB, idea for a Hawks article on another rainy, summer day:

What if: The Hawks’ last 12 months replayed with hindsight as a guide.

Do we re-sign JJ? Sign and trade for Ty Chandler? Draft Jordan Crawford? Hire Dwayne Casey as coach?

And how would this have affected the rest of the NBA?

JJ signs with NY. D Casey leaves Dallas last offseason. Carmelo doesn’t get traded to NY, but to NJ instead. The Thrashers DON’T move to Winnipeg.

Could be fun to map out the sports landscape and see how much we affected by maintaining the status quo here with the Hawks.

Common Sense

June 29th, 2011
12:09 pm

Consider Michael roasted

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2011
12:10 pm

That’s a good idea, Jamaaliver. Thanks much.

Common Sense

June 29th, 2011
12:10 pm

Lets go even further back jamaaliver, would if we didnt draft Marvin Williams and took Chris Paul instead, we’d have 6 championships