Hawks Continue to Soar Above Opinions On New Ownership

In September 2014, controlling owner, time.com posted that Bruce Levenson, announced his intent to sell his 50.1% stake in the Atlanta Hawks. Levenson is the co-founder and partner of United Communications Group (UCG), which provides the tools and techniques, news and analyses that give its clients an advantage over their competitors. UCG also owns and operates GasBuddy, a mobile application that helps drivers find low gas prices in their area.

In the months following Levenson’s announcement, the owners of the remaining shares, Michael Gearon, Jr. (32.3% stake) and Steven Price (17.6% stake), also announced their intent to sell.

The sale reportedly includes the operating rights to the Hawks’ training facility, Philips Arena. The Arena was the subject of harsh criticism from one of the prospective buyers recently, being called “subpar” amid allegations that the weight room fails to meet NBA standards and the luxury box setup doesn’t measure up to the typical luxury box owners’ expectations. Someone familiar with the arena and the critiquing party told ajc.com that the concern and reason for critique was that the arena may limit the owners’ options and be a disadvantage and/or deterrent in attracting the best and brightest new talent, many of which are Free Agents.

Recent buzz on the sale indicates that the group that has been considered the front runner since mid-April, shortly after the bid submission deadline of April 10, 2015, is still in first place as the probable new owner(s). The group, led by billionaire equity and investment fund manager, Antony Ressler, includes former NBA All-Star, Grant Hill (College: Duke, NBA: Pistons, Magic, Suns, & Clippers), Spanx owner and youngest self-made female billionaire, Sara Blakely, as well as her husband Jesse Itzler, philanthropist and co-founder of Marquis Jet.

Inner Circle Sports and Goldman Sachs were retained by the Hawks to represent the current owners in the sale. Forbes reports that the Banker “oversold” the current owners on the final sale price for the team, by about 27%. So, what was the Banker’s pitch and what was the estimated final sale price, you ask? Ask, it’s rumoured that the estimate given was as high as $1 Billion. As for the pitch – only those in the room at the time will ever know for sure. According to recently released details of the final agreement of sale, Ressler’s group is getting quite the discount off of the supposed $1 Billion sale price, with the final price being reported at $730 Million.

The pending ownership change will hopefully foster further growth and success for the Hawks and we look forward to an exciting new season.

A Pretty Penny: Selling The Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta hawks have had quite an interesting couple of years. Most notably has been the issue of team ownership and the decision that was made during the eleventh hour of sales talks. A notable event from the sale of the hawks is the mistake made by Goldman Sachs. This was of course only revealed after the fact so what kind of fallout it caused between the two can only be speculated at. When Goldman Sachs gave an initial report on what the team was worth, they suggested that the team as well as its many assets was worth somewhere in the neighborhood of one billion dollars. It turns out they overshot this estimation by about twenty-five percent. The winning bid was made by Tony Ressler for seven hundred- thirty million dollars. Now this may have seemed like a controversy at the time but three quarters of a billion dollars really doesn’t seem like anything to be upset about.
The Atlanta hawks have had many owners since their inception in 1946 when they were called the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. They also lay claim to the second longest drought of not winning an NBA championship second only to the Sacramento Kings. in 2013 the era of Josh Smith came to an end when the Hawks signed power forward Paul Millsap to a two year contract worth nineteen million dollars. Josh Smith ended up signing a contract with the Michigan team the Detroit Pistons, they also lost another player, this time to the Milwaukee Bucks This time it was Zaza Pachulia. In response to this the Hawks brought back Kyle Korver for a four year contract worth twenty-four million dollars.
This was all more or less pointless as the Hawks still were not able make it to the finals as they were knocked out of the brackets during the finals in four games to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Bruce Levenson was a previous owner of the team and did an outstanding job during his time with the Hawks. Despite attending school for a field completely unrelated to sports management, there are no complaints from his team even now that he is no longer the teams owner. Levenson is the Co-founder of the United Communications Group which was created back in 1977 with Ed Peskowitz, the company itself also owns and operates a mobile application called Gas Buddy that assist drivers by showing them where they can pay the least amount for gas.
Levenson is married to Karen nee Boyarsky with whom he has three sons.

Looking Ahead With the Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks rose to prominence in such a fashion that most NBA fans couldn’t really believe their eyes. For the better part of the past decade the Atlanta Hawks had been perennial losers whose ceiling seemed to be capped at the fourth or fifth seed in the NBA. GM Bruce Levenson had bought the team over a decade ago and he had steadfastly built a core of players that could compete but struggled to get over the hump. Then, in 2014, everything clicked. Atlanta went on to win 60 games, place second overall in the NBA standings, and make it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. So what’s next for a Hawks team that is ostensibly on the rise?

The first thing that we’ll be paying attention to going into 2015 is how the Hawks patch up their starting swingman spot. Demarre Carrol had solidified the role with aplomb last season as he became one of the elite defenders in the game while stretching the floor with his shooting. For the first two rounds of last years NBA playoffs Carroll was easily the most important Hawk on the floor. Now he is gone. Right now the small forward position is occupied by an injured Thabo Sefalosha and a rookie in Lamar Patterson. Neither option gives Atlanta what Carroll was able to give them alone.

However things aren’t all bad for Atlanta. The team excelled in picking up veteran talent to fill out their rotation. Tim Hardaway Jr and Tiago Splitter both make their way over to the team and plan to get some heavy minutes. Hardaway Jr is a score first shooter who can fill out minutes at the 2 and the 3 spot while Splitter will slot in as a power forward and, for stretches, a center as well. Splitter averaged 8 points and 5 boards last season in just under 20 minutes per game. Hardaway Jr averaged 12 points 2 assists and 2 rebounds.

What Atlanta did last season was pretty special and it was thanks primarily to a Coach of the Year effort from Budenholzer. Budenholzer, with the support of Al Horford, implemented an offensive system that worked by aiming at team strengths and limiting the ‘get mine’ mentality. Instead of having Horford or Teague chuck up 35 combined shots per game, the Hawks instead pushed the ball around and tried to get the open man the ball. This created one of the most efficient seasons in Kyle Korver’s career from beyond the arc while creating viable scoring opportunities for everyone else on the floor.

Atlanta hit their rough spot against Cleveland in the ECF and it was there that their big issues surfaced. In the playoffs the style of game almost demands that a player step up and become the ‘go to guy’. For Atlanta it needs to be Al Horford. Horford had an abysmal showing against Cleveland and he’ll look to remedy that going forward into the next season and hopefully beyond.

Let Town Real Estate Get You Some Great New York City Real Estate

New York City is one of the finest places to live in the country and most people know it. There are some amazing landmark New York City properties, many movies have been filmed there, and a lot of celebrities have made New York City their home. New York City isn’t just a place to live, New York City is a place to experience. Most people who go to New York City leave there feeling like they are a different person because they’ve learned so much. Although New York City does have its downsides, it’s unlike any other city out there, especially since it has a lot of opportunities for those who visit or lived there.

If you’re one of those persons who’s been drawn to New York City, and you feel the need to move to the big city, then what are you waiting for? Maybe you don’t know exactly where you’d like to live in the city, but that’s a small issue because you can always get help with that. If you know that you’re moving to New York City, but you just need help in finding a new place, then one phone call should solve your entire problem. If you make a phone call to a real estate agent that’s in the city, then you’ll be able to get information on some great places that are available.

Maybe you’re not ready to move to New York City yet, but you plan on moving within the next six months, then you still can get a great real estate agent to help you. If you’re looking for a new place, there are some homes that are under construction in New York City, and by the time you’re ready to move they might be ready. You can look forward to moving into a brand-new high-rise building that has some great amenities that you can show off to others after you move in. If you want to get into the best places in New York City, then you’ll want to call Town Real Estate.

Let your Town Real Estate agent help you to determine where you want to live, how much money you want to spend, and what type of amenities you’re looking for. Once your real estate agent has a chat with you about your requirements, then you’ll be surprised when they bring you back a list of great homes that you’d be interested in. Although Town Real Estate has these homes listed on their website, once you sit down with a real estate agent, then you’ll be able to get more in-depth information about these homes. With all the fascinating homes that Town Real Estate has available, why haven’t you called them yet?

Atlanta Hawks Changing Ownership

The Atlanta Hawks, a National Basketball Association team currently based out of Atlanta, Georgia recently came to the media’s attention due to an ownership transferral. In January 2015, they were up for sale and in April the team was purchased.

Originally the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, the team started up in 1964. After changing their name, the Hawks moved around some until in 1968 they established their home-net in Atlanta, Georga. There they play at the Philips Arena. The team has won a record of 60 games and are the top seed of the East. The Atlanta Hawks had never made it past the second round of the NBA playoffs however until this year. They have the second-longest drought after the Sacramento Kings who have never been to the NBA Finals. The Hawks have a championship appearance drought of 57 seasons. The last time the Atlanta Hawks appeared in the NBA Finals was in 1961.

The team’s major rivalries include the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic. The Hawks and the Celtics have been rivalries for five decades. The Celtics even faced the Tri-Cities Blackhawks at the dawn of their creation. They have faced each other in the NBA playoffs eleven times, and four times in the NBA Finals. Though the number of times the Celtics have played the Hawks is greater than Orlando Magic, and though the Hawks have been beaten more times by the Celtics, the team’s rivalry with Magic is more intense and player based. Often times the Hawks and Magic players have been in verbal and physical altercations. Players Marcin Gortat, Dwight Howard, and Mickael Pietrus from Orlando Magic were often in fights with Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, Josh Smith, and Zaza Pachulia. The competition was especially fierce between Howard and Smith as both were raised out of Georgia.

Their rivalries often made the news for physical altercations, but recently their claim to fame was a change in ownership. The team has been bought and sold many times. In 2004 having been previously owned by Turner broadcasting, the Atlanta Hawks were purchased by a group of shareholders including majority Partners Ed Peskowitz and Bruce Levenson. Levenson was also the managing partner of the Hawks and a member of the NBA Board of Governors. At the end of 2014 Levenson decided, however, to sell his share.

In April 2015, the Atlanta Hawks were sold to Antony Ressler, a billionaire equity and investment fund manager. Though originally priced at $1 trillion, the team was sold for $850 Million. Given the team’s drought records and failing draft history, current Atlanta Hawks fans are eagerly waiting to see the outcome of the change in ownership. The Hawks were rapidly losing game attendees under the previous ownership, and the teams fans were worried they might go under due to a huge loss in profit as a result of the decrease in ticket sales. The Atlanta Hawks seem to have a brighter future in front of them however with the change of ownership to Ressler.

Bruce Levenson: The Ex-Hawks Managing Director

We cannot speak of the Atlanta Hawks without mentioning the name Bruce Levenson. He is also among the investors that bought the team from Turner Broadcasting in 2004. Initially during the acquisition, it was called Atlanta Spirit LLC.

Before he co-founded United Communications Group (UCG) with Ed Peskowitz in 1977, he had started his journalism career at the Washington Star. He worked there during the day and at night attended law school at American University.

UCG started out, it was like many other start-ups. It was born Levenson’s apartment. The company started off with publishing Oil Express, a newsletter that focused on developments in the oil industry.

Today UCG is therefore a company that specializes in energy, technology, news and analysis of for healthcare, mortgage banking, telecommunications and other industries. GasBuddy is their mobile application that helps drivers identify local low gas prices.

When Bruce and his UCG partner, Ed Peskowitz together with other investors bought the basketball team, the purchase was inclusive of NHL Atlanta Thrashers as well. They later on disposed the NHL team in 2011 for $170 million. The acquisition which cost them $250 million had included the rights to the Philips Arena.

Before selling his share of the investment in Hawks, he served as the team’s managing partner and as a member of the NBA Board of Governors. He hired Danny Ferry, a former player of the Cleveland Cavaliers, to be the general manager and president of basketball operations.

Before joining the Hawks, Ferry was the vice president of the operations for the San Antonio Spurs. And before that, he had served as the general manager for the Cavaliers.
In September 2014, Levenson made it public that he would be selling his share of investment in Hawks. It was followed closely by Michael Gearon Jr. announcing his sale of his share as well in January 2015.

Those in the bid for the team included Grizzlies. It was led by a minority owner Steven Kaplan. Others in his group were Ex-Grizzlies’ CEO Jason Levien, Billionaire Erick Thohir and Handy Poernomo.

The other group was led by Mark Rachesky, the Co-Founder, President and Investment Chief at MHR Fund Management LLC. Others in the group were Jesse Itzler and Steve Starker, a New York investment banker.

To help facilitate the sale, Hawks hired Goldman Sachs and Inner Circle Sports. The sale was to include the sale of the Hawks and the operating rights to Philips Arena. Goldman Sachs had a strong conviction that they could sell Hawks for $1 billion but they fell short $150 million.

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and coach Mike Budenholzer continue to form part of the long-term plans from the new ownership group.

Changes from Ownership to Uniforms – “Hawks” to “Atlanta”

Goldman Sachs and Inner Circle Sports was hired to handle the sale of the Atlanta Hawks for Bruce Levenson on time.com, the majority owner of this NBA team. The deal was closed and the Atlanta Hawks NBA Basketball Team has been bought for a couple of nickels short of $850M. The group purchasing this NBA team is headed by Antony Ressler. Other members of the group include Grant Hill (NBA All-Star), Rick Schnall, a partner of Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Sara Blakely and her husband, owner of Spanx, and Jesse Itzler, entrepreneur.

The sale of the Hawks includes the operating rights to Philips Arena. Although the numbers that were floating around regarding the sale ticket ranged between $900 million and $1 billion. The next guesstimate came from Andrew Zimbalist who predicted the range in price would be between $700 million and $750 million. Interesting how the sale price ended somewhere in the middle. The sale was finalized on June 24, 2015.

Meanwhile, the new owners are thrilled and looking forward to the rest of the season. The Hawks strength is great at this time and reflects the sale price and the prospects of what they could realize if the team continues to play aggressively and positively for the balance of the season.

Danny Ferry, General Manager of the Hawks is presently on leave of absence and his return is unknown at this time. Now that the ink is dry on the purchase agreement, Ferry will poke his head out of hiding. The Hawks are still winning games and hopefully their team spirit will remain.

Anthony Ressler received his MBA from Columbia University School of Business and began his career at Drexel Burnham Lambert, achieving the position of Senior Vice President in the High Yield Bond Department. In 1990, he cofounded Apollo Global Management along with Leon Black. In 2005, Ressler joined an investment group and this started his in-depth interest in entering the sports arena as an investment owner, and this year accomplished the purchase of the Atlanta Hawks.

Aside from Ressler’s interest in investment in the sports arena, he is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He also serves as Finance Chair and a member of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He is also one of the founding members of the board and Finance Chair of the Painted Turtle Camp.

As so many are aware, the Painted Turtle Camp is devoted to providing wonderful experiences for children and their families with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. This camp experience offers children a lifetime of camping memories and enjoying the outdoors that would never be realized anywhere else.

It is reported that a preseason photo was released showing a change in the uniforms chests insignia from the “Hawks” to “Atlanta.” Apparently they are adding the old “Pac-Man” logo to the left leg of the shorts. It appears that a portion of the uniform changes are already being used.

Joseph Bismark And His Beliefs


As someone who enjoys reading about those who are trying to live their lives right, I was happy to read on the WordPress blog Just Judy and Her Dog that Joseph Bismark is a businessman that appeals to people like me. This is a man who is not afraid of letting the world know just what he believes and just how he feels. This is a man who is happy to share about his beliefs with the world, in the hope of helping others become better people. I respect Joseph Bismark for the beliefs that he holds close, and I respect him for sharing those beliefs through his blog.

Joseph Bismark believes in caring about others and looking out for their needs, and he shares about that belief on his blog. This man believes in the power of an inner peace, and he shares about that on his blog. Through the blog that Joseph Bismark shares with the world, we are given the chance to read his reflections on his life and on his faith. I appreciate the fact that this man is willing to share himself in such way, telling about his life and beliefs through the help of a blog.

Jimmy Butler Is Coming Back to Chicago!

BlogdoRonco said that Jimmy Butler made the Bulls sweat for the better part of the first week of NBA free agency. The All Star shooting guard, who had grown up so much in the past year, had made it known that he really wanted to find his way to a bigger payday and he might not mind waiting another year to get it. The rumors first came out that Butler would take a one year deal just to get away from Chicago in order to max out in L.A. next season. That turned out to be false and Chicago is pretty thankful right now. The Bulls locked in Butler with a five year $90 million dollar contract this past week. The fifth year of the deal exists as a player option.

Butler initially had meetings lined up with Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, and Dallas but he opted to cancel them all as soon as Chicago started talking about maxing him out. Good thing, too. Butler will return to Chicago to become co-franchise player alongside star guard Derrick Rose. Combined the two will be the highest paid back court in the entire league, and Gar Foreman and Head Coach Fred Hoiberg have hope that they will live up to the moniker.

The NBA is increasingly trending toward a small ball movement and having a pair of guards with two way ability, at star levels, gives Chicago a bump above the rest of the pack.

Bear Hunting

Hunting is a popular past time for many people. They consider it a time to come together and bond with other memories of their family or friends. It’s sometimes a learning experience, and a time to grow that older men take their sons on. No matter what the reason, one thing has basically stayed the same. That is what type of animals you can hunt. For a long time it was pretty standard across the board, people would hunt deer, pheasants, and small animals such as hares and rabbits. Well it looks like Florida wildlife officials are adding a new animal to that list.

According to Reddit News, people will be allowed to hunt bears for a week straight. This is the first time in twenty one years that it will be allowed. The reason for this is that there has been an increased amount of bear encounters as they’ve begun to wander into suburbs and places that they don’t belong. The bear hunt will be capped at 275, and when that’s reached it’s done.
So for many, it will be a week long hunt to get their hands on one of these big animals! It perhaps will be one of the biggest catches of their life. In the meantime people are asked to take extra precautions and stay safe. Jaime Garcia Dias suggests that bears are more dangerous than other animals that are hunted, and therefore it’s important to always stay vigilant when out there.