With the news that the Atlanta Hawks have been sold to a non-local, California businessman Alex Meruelo, Atlanta fans might worry about losing another team to relocation, much as they lost the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg. But Meruelo told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he wants to bring an NBA championship to Atlanta.
Telling the AJC's Mark Bradley "I will be in complete control of the team," Meruelo, who stands to become the NBA's first Hispanic owner, began his tenure as the next Hawks owner by doing the sort of public relations work that gets sports columnists on the owner's side. Bradley compares him favorably to the Liberty Media group that runs the Atlanta Braves, and the conversation is written up in glowing terms.
In that respect, it certainly seems like all will be well in the Hawks' proximate future. But this is the sort of enthusiasm virtually every person buying a professional sports franchise shows at the outset: one can't help but wonder if it's a pose calculated for maximum benefit down the road.