Former NBA player Chris Webber has expressed an interest in purchasing the majority interest in the Atlanta Hawks.
Webber posted a statement on his website that read he has contacted the NBA.
The statement read: “After garnering support of local community and business leaders, this week The Webber Group contacted the NBA to respectively express our intentions to acquire the majority interest of the Atlanta Hawks. Our mission is to give the team back to the community that sustains it: Georgia. We will field a competitive team of high character individuals that will exhibit championship characteristics off the court, while striving for that elusive title on the court. A quest for excellence, teamwork, leadership, diversity, and community partnership will be our earmarks. Our passion and commitment will instill confidence in our corporate partners. We will put fans first. We will keep the team in Atlanta forever!”
Currently, at least a majority share of 50.1 percent of the Hawks is available. The Washington ownership group, led by Bruce Levenson and his 24 percent individual share, are selling their stake in the team. Levenson agreed to sell his stake after a racially inflammatory email he wrote in 2012 was discovered as part of an internal investigation. The email was uncovered following a racist comment made by general manager Danny Ferry during a conference call with ownership and management in June concerning potential free agents. Co-owner Michael Gearon called for Ferry to resign or be fired for cause following the comment about Luol Deng, who the Hawks pursued but signed with the Heat. Ferry is on an indefinite leave of absence.
It still has not been determined whether the Atlanta group, which owns 34 percent, and/or the New York group, which owns 16 percent, will sell their stakes in the team. The ownership group has yet to hold a meeting to determine what percentage of the Hawks will be sold. That meeting has not yet been scheduled and will not take place this week.
Both Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed have said that many individuals and groups have expressed interest in the Hawks. The formal process of selling the team, including vetting those who have expressed interest, cannot begin until it is determined the exact percentage that is available.
Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins has also expressed interest in being part of a group to buy the Hawks. The name of New York entertainment lawyer Doug Davis has also surfaced as a prospective buyer.