UPDATED: Levenson to Sell, Ferry Disciplined by Team

Bo Churney —  September 7, 2014

In a surprise announcement by the NBA this morning, Hawks controlling owner Bruce Levenson will sell his share of the Hawks after Levenson self-reported an offensive email from 2012.

Adam Silver’s comments from the NBA’s press release:

“Following Bruce Levenson notifying the league office this July of his August 2012 email, the NBA commenced an independent investigation regarding the circumstances of Mr. Levenson’s comments.

Prior to the completion of the investigation, Mr. Levenson notified me last evening that he had decided to sell his controlling interest in the Atlanta Hawks. As Mr. Levenson acknowledged, the views he expressed are entirely unacceptable and are in stark contrast to the core principles of the National Basketball Association. He shared with me how truly remorseful he is for using those hurtful words and how apologetic he is to the entire NBA family – fans, players, team employees, business partners and fellow team owners – for having diverted attention away from our game.

I commend Mr. Levenson for self-reporting to the league office, for being fully cooperative with the league and its independent investigator, and for putting the best interests of the Hawks, the Atlanta community, and the NBA first.

We will be working with the Hawks ownership group on the appropriate process for the sale of the team and I have offered our full support to Hawks CEO Steve Koonin, who will now oversee all team operations.”

The 2012 email can be seen in full here.

Levenson has released his own statement on the issue, which can be seen here.

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin later released a statement via www.atlantahawksinfo.com:

“Today’s statement from Controlling Owner Bruce Levenson is extremely disappointing and the email that he sent over two years ago was alarming, offensive and most of all, completely unacceptable and does not reflect the principles and values of the Hawks organization. In partnership with the NBA, we will work to ensure that a new ownership team will be put in place that is united and committed to the Atlanta community.”

Danny Ferry may also be in hot water as well, as it is now reported that a comment that he repeated from a scouting report is what set all of this in motion.

Ferry will be disciplined internally and it is not yet clear whether or not his job is in danger. Koonin reportedly met with the team’s players last night, with the atmosphere being described as “a funeral”.

It’s unclear what more may come from this, but it obviously isn’t over yet. More to come as it’s made available.

Bo Churney

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7 responses to UPDATED: Levenson to Sell, Ferry Disciplined by Team

  1. If the Hawks got past the second round, they would get those fans he wants. People love winners

  2. He used race as an excuse when the real reason is because we haven’t gotten past the second round

  3. Danny Ferry is just as bad. He and the owner both should dissappear. I wont be renewing tickets or spending any money on the hawks until ferry is gone also. Now I know why we never win or attempt to get any black player who is outspoken.

  4. What a mess…

    If it was difficult for Ferry to attract Free Agents before, it’ll be downright impossible for him to attract them now.

    He has to go as soon as a new owner is brought in.

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