clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Everything you need to know about the Bruce Levenson situation

New, comments

Come discuss every element of the latest Atlanta sports debacle.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

With a lot of info flying around about Bruce Levenson's self-reported email, leading to an agreement to sell his share of the Atlanta Hawks, here's a breakdown of what we know so far:

  • Adrian Wojnarowski, of course, first reported that Levenson would be selling his controlling interest in the Hawks after the revelation of an email from August 2012 with racial elements.
  • The NBA did not find the email on its own, as Levenson revealed that he had self-reported the email in July 2014.
  • NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released an unsympathetic statement admonishing Levenson, while pointing out how cooperative he'd been in the investigative process.
  • The AJC first reported Levenson's email in full, sent to Hawks GM Danny Ferry, and here's the most telling excerpt:
  • My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a signficant season ticket base. Please dont get me wrong. There was nothing threatening going on in the arean back then. i never felt uncomfortable, but i think southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority. On fan sites i would read comments about how dangerous it is around philips yet in our 9 years, i don’t know of a mugging or even a pick pocket incident. This was just racist garbage. When I hear some people saying the arena is in the wrong place I think it is code for there are too many blacks at the games.

    I have been open with our executive team about these concerns. I have told them I want some white cheerleaders and while i don’t care what the color of the artist is, i want the music to be music familiar to a 40 year old white guy if that’s our season tixs demo. i have also balked when every fan picked out of crowd to shoot shots in some time out contest is black. I have even bitched that the kiss cam is too black.

  • Hawks CEO Steve Koonin, now in charge of all team operations, issued a statement with an interesting line: "In partnership with the NBA, we will work to ensure that a new ownership team will be put in place that is united and committed to the Atlanta community."
  • The oddest thing to come out so far: Levenson reportedly was already looking into selling his share of the team before the Donald Sterling news broke.
  • Another Woj bomb: A league official disputes Levenson and Silver's statements that Levenson self-reported the email in July.
  • Woj dropped more information, which did little to clear up any murkiness at the time.
  • Our own Jason Walker wrote a great editorial about the content of the email, and what it means to Hawks fans.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gave Time Magazine a different take on the words Levenson said.
  • A lot of information dropped Monday morning, and it breaks down like this: Koonin mentioned that Danny Ferry would be disciplined for something that was a part of the investigation.
  • Turns out he would be punished for something that was part of a report on Luol Deng during the offseason.
  • Details on that emerged: Ferry read aloud a comment about Deng's heritage in the background report on him.
  • The latest is the report was not written by Ferry or anyone who is employed by the Hawks. At the same time, the Hawks do not plan additional disciplinary actions against Ferry.
  • And in the midst of all this, rumors naturally swirled about who the next Hawks owners could be.
  • The NBA Players Association issued a statement in regards to the Atlanta Hawks situation.

Stay tuned here for updates as more unfolds, and discuss your thoughts on what's already been uncovered.