Los Angeles-based businessman Alex Meruelo will not be buying the Atlanta Hawks after all, after a hitch surrounding financial backing perked up during the NBA approval process. That means that the Atlanta Spirit group, a consortium of area businessmen and widely considered the worst owners in pro sports, will hold on to the Hawks for the forseeable future.
Or maybe forever. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
"The Atlanta Hawks are no longer for sale," [ASG partner Bruce] Levenson said in a statement. "We're excited to remain as owners of the Hawks and are committed to building on our string of four straight playoff appearances."
This could be a bit of posturing to dim the bright lights of desperation that would shine after Meruelo's exit. But if it's not, if Levenson and the Atlanta Spirit really do intend on keeping the franchise hostage, then may God have mercy on Hawks' fans ... because management doesn't intend to.