Amid the controversy surrounding Bruce Levenson and the impending sale of the Atlanta Hawks, the other side of the coin concerns the "next step" for the franchise itself. In that vein, Chris Vivlamore of the AJC brings word that there are multiple interested parties who could look to purchase the team, and Hawks CEO Steve Koonin had this to say about interest he is receiving.
"I had over seven phone calls directly today from multi-billionaires," Koonin said. "It blew my mind some of the people who wrote me today."
It is certainly no surprise that millionaires and billionaires could be interested in acquiring an NBA team, given the recent franchise values around the league, but it is an interesting reminder of the amount of interest the sale could generate. In addition, the piece from Vivlamore also outlines some detail concerning the current ownership structure for the franchise:
It is not known the exact percentage that Levenson owns of the Hawks ownership group. It is enough that he is called the controlling partner in a group that includes seven others and at least five minor investors. Michael Gearon Jr. is referred to as a managing partner, along with Levenson, in the team’s media guide. The other listed owners are Levenson’s business partner Ed Peskowitz, Rutherford Seydel, Todd Foreman, Michael Gearon Sr. and Beau Turner. Koonin purchased an interest in the team, enough to be labeled a co-owner, in April when he was hired at CEO of the franchise.
Throughout the process, many outsiders have been quick to jump in referencing Levenson as "the owner" of the team, and while that is technically accurate, there are many moving parts to the situation. Be sure to check out our updated storystream with full coverage of the Levenson controversy and sale, but if anyone was worried that the Hawks wouldn't garner interest on the open market, that theory can be put to rest.