Bruce Levenson Sells Atlanta Hawks After Successful Ownership Run
The Atlanta Hawks are coming of off one of their most successful seasons of all time, and the brightest one under the helm of owner Bruce Levenson. Atlanta led the Eastern Conference in wins and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in nearly half of a century. Atlanta fans are riding high off of the emotional season and they are looking toward the future for the wins to keep on coming. Owner Bruce Levenson won’t be with the Hawks anymore as the owner as sold the team to a group of buyers led by Antony Ressler, on the heels of his best year in the NBA.
Levenson purchased the Hawks back in 2004 as part of the Atlanta Spirit LLC. He and partner Ed Peskowitz became the majority owners of the Hawks. Under their ownership the Hawks would slowly, but surely, begin to flourish. Atlanta was coming off of a rough decade in the ’90s when their best wasn’t good enough to compete with the super teams in Chicago and Detroit. The Eastern Conference was dominated by Chicago and even when Atlanta won 50 games it was still for nothing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before LeBron James was drafted by the Cavs and the Eastern Conference was once again dominated by another generational talent.
Still, Levenson the founder of UCG helped to lead Atlanta forward into the future by making savvy business investments and strong draft choices. His biggest impact as an owner came in the wake of the 2013 free agency period, where Levenson opened up the wallet and spent big to get guys like Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, and Jeff Teague into the rotation long term. However, before that point he had been instrumental in the drafting of Al Horford, Jeff Teague, and Josh Smith — all 3 of which would go on to become All Star level talents.
The Hawks are now under the control of billionaire Antony Ressler and it will be up to him to continue the new found tradition of winning. The Eastern Conference has gotten thicker and thicker of late with more teams growing and becoming ready to challenge the conference. The Cleveland Cavaliers are healthy and primed for another deep run, Chicago is picking the pieces back up, and squads like Toronto and Washington look truly threatening.
Already we’ve seen Ressler make some nice moves in order to help the Hawks out. His decision to keep Millsap may pay huge dividends as the year goes on. In trades, as well, the Hawks have fought to improve. Atlanta has added Tim Hardaway Jr from the Knicks and then they also grabbed Tiago Splitter from the San Antonio Spurs. With a deep well of veteran talent we could definitely see Atlanta once again battle for pole position atop the Eastern Conference. The question is: will coach Budenholzer be able to lead his roster past the more talented Cavaliers when it comes down to crunch time? That is the question to ask and one that won’t be easy to answer.