The NBA season will soon open training camp for another season. At this time of the year, fans of every team are extremely excited about what could happen this year. One city that is particularly psyched up this year is Atlanta. The Hawks finished strong last year and have a new ownership group running the team. The fans in Atlanta have been waiting an exceptionally long to get a sweet taste of winning it all. There are many in town who think this year could be the year. The Hawks have a stable team that were 60-20 last year. That’s one great season that could only be exceeded by winning it all.
The management of the Hawks has traded hands in the past year. The team was run by Bruce Levenson and Atlanta Spirit LLC from 2004 to January of 2015. Levenson and his team were shrewd business operators who built the franchise up. They fielded decent teams that won their share of games. Levenson sold the team to a group led by Grant Hill and Tony Ressler for $850 million. Ressler has stated that he’s a behind the scenes sort of manager, similar to how Levenson was. Neither man is particularly flashy in the way they do business. That suits a town like Atlanta in many ways. The fans of Atlanta have not bonded with the Hawks the way cities like Boston and Los Angeles have with their teams. The fans are looking for a winner to bring them and the team closer together.
Levenson was unable to win a championship during his tenure with the team, but the franchise did amass enormous value. Ressler, who is an investor, will probably also look to increase profitability. In the NBA, it generally takes marquee players to do that. Lebron James is an example of a player who adds many millions of dollars to a franchise by playing there. Whether the Hawks will make a play for a standout player in the draft or free agency remains to be seen. These type of players never come cheap. With Ressler’s resources, it could be a possibility. Grant Hill could certainly give a lot of input in that area. He was considered to be one of the best players in the NBA, up until his retirement in 2013. That experience is fresh enough that he could make valuable assessments of players to this day. It’s assumed Hill and Ressler will be looking for a franchise player to build the team around. If they do, chances are good attendance will soar. All of this remains to be seen, but the speculation seems realistic in light of what’s going on with the Hawks. They could make a real run at the Championship in the next few years if the owners are committed to winning. They can probably make a lot of profit without a Championship, but a crown would put them in a whole new category quickly. Championships add instant equity to a team’s overall value.