The Atlanta Hawks continue to rise on the court, winning their 7th straight road game against the L.A Clippers on Monday and winning in their home return against the Memphis Grizzles last night. Off the court, the Atlanta Hawks management continues to free-fall. Ed Peskowitz, the last principle owner of the Hawks, has put his 50% ownership stake in the team up for sale. Along with Bruce Levenson giving up his stake, the Atlanta Hawks are now on the selling block.
The story of the Atlanta Hawks management is strange, convoluted, and headache inducing. The racism bug was very contagious among those in the Hawks front office this past year. Levenson received the dreaded wrong place, wrong time award this summer when his racist email concerning the majority African American fan base was unearthed not too long after fellow racist and ex-owner of the L.A Clippers Donald Sterling was banished from the NBA. Levenson fell on his own sword and put up his stake in the team. Levenson’s email was only discovered after Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry made racially-laced remarks about Miami Heat small forward Luol Deng. The ownership problems for the Hawks have gone on for years, with the initial fissures coming as a result of the Joe Johnson trade and contract extension way back in 2005.
Despite the PR mess, Hawks management has bumbled their way into building a contender. The actual personnel moves over the last year have been tremendous and something special is brewing. It’s usually the opposite in these situations. The Hawks are in a great place; with stable and dependable management, the Hawks could find themselves flying to unseen heights in the NBA.