The Atlanta hawks are hoping for a smooth transition from the decade long ownership of Bruce Levenson and what was initially known sa the Atlanta Spirit consoritum to the new ownership of billionaire financial expert Anthony Ressler. The arrival of Ressler comes at a time when the Hawks franchise has decided the time is right to retire the fourth jersey in its history and honor the former Hawk Dikembe Mutombo for his lay in the late 1990s. Mutombo’s number 55 will join just three other numbers the Hawks have retired after the hall of famer spent an impressive five years at the Hawks from 1996 to 2001.
There are many similarities to be drawn between the arrival of Mutombo and that of Tony Ressler at the franchise, but the work of Bruce Levenson should not be ignored in explaining why the Hawks are in this strong position. Mutombo arrived in 1996 when the HAwks leadership decided the team needed a strong defensive player to aid their push forth e playoffs, prior to this the Hawks had been struggling to compete with the top teams in the NBA. Mutombo provided a strong central player who was an all star player four times in his five seasons with the Georgia based franchise.
Tony Ressler arrives at Philips Arena after the Hawks have made the playoffs for a number of years, but have failed to progress to the finals of the NBA playoffs. For Ressler, the Hawks face a number of major teams in the Eastern Conference playoffs, including the Cleveland Cavaliers and a resurgent Chicago Bulls. In the time of Mutombo the main rival of the Hawks were the Bulls, then led by Michael Jordan who eliminated the Hawks from the playoffs on numerous occassions.
For Bruce Levenson of UCG the departure from Atlanta will be bittersweet after he led the franchise out of one of its worst periods in its history. Levenson found the Hawks with the worst record in the NBA in 2004 when his consortium led the npurchase of the franchise and lead them to future glory. The Levenson led franchise took a different routet o many teams who have risen and fallen quickly after investing in aging susperstar players. Levenson looked to grow a team over a lare amount of team that was yuong and could slowly rise through the standings together. The culmination of the Levensno led plan could be seen as the team that was the worst in the NBA when the franchise was purchased and ended his decade in charge with the team as the number one seed entering the 2015 playoffs.