HoopsHype Michael Gearon Jr rumors

September 12, 2014 Updates

Gearon had grown frustrated with Ferry because of the smug manner in which he dealt with some Hawks employees, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, and has long wanted him gone. But Gearon, who was once NBA governor for the franchise, lacked the power to remove Ferry and neither Levenson nor Steve Koonin, the new chief executive and minority owner assigned to run the team until the sale is completed, are willing to grant his wish. That tussle has been at the heart of the current tension within the organization. Washington Post

September 9, 2014 Updates
March 1, 2014 Updates

The Hawks are on the verge of adding five minor investors to their ownership group, according to several people familiar with the situation. The completion of a deal is in the NBA approval process and likely will be completed by mid-March. The investors will not have a significant ownership in the team nor will their additions change the current structure. The additions were described as “a plus strategically, but not a big deal.” The Hawks could add additional investors in the future. The Hawks would not comment on the additions to the ownership group. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

May 12, 2012 Updates

Michael Cunningham: NBA fines #Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. $35k for publicly criticizing officials and negative comments about KG Twitter

May 11, 2012 Updates

“They are old,” Gearon said at a luncheon. “I know what happens when you play basketball, old guys foul. Garnett is the dirtiest guy in the league.” So when KG was asked about the 28-point, 14-rebound, five-block tour de force in last evening’s 83-80 Celtics [team stats] elimination of Atlanta, he took a detour. “First off I want to say thank you to their owner for giving me some extra gas tonight,” Garnett said. “My only advice to him is next time he opens his mouth actually know what he’s talking about — X’s and O’s versus his checkbook and the bottom line.” Boston Herald

Later, KG added, “We’re not dirty. We play aggressive. We’re not dirty. You have to understand the word dirty in this game is very defined — going under guys, trying to hurt guys, ill intent. That’s not the way we play basketball. We play very, very respectable to the opponent, the city we’re in, the game. We play with a lot of passion, play with force. It’s the playoffs. I haven’t been here trying to hurt anybody, nor has my team. I just found that comment to be a little rude and a little out of hand, and I wanted to address it. Just because you’ve got a bunch of money don’t mean you can open your mouth.” Boston Herald

“I guess being 35 — soon to be 36, not 37, ’76, look it up — I put a lot of work into my craft,” he said. “I take it very seriously. I always have, since ’95, since I’ve been able to come into the league and it’s almost like you guys are shocked. Like this ain’t what I do every day, like this ain’t what I was made for. It does come off disrespectful at times. I put a lot of work and time into this, and there are certain levels I expect from myself. … “I take this very seriously, so you guys calling me old, that number defies. You have no idea what you are doing when you say those ‘old’ comments. I appreciate that. I don’t read your columns, but it gets back to me. … “Not knowing if this is my last year to play, playing against younger talent, being competitive,” he answered. “I’m a very competitive person. I’ve been playing with great guys, a great coaching staff and organization with good people working in it. I am self-motivated but to come here every day, it’s an easy thing to do. You have some hard days, some rainy days, but for the most part I look forward to waking up and coming in.” WEEI.com

May 10, 2012 Updates

Atlanta Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. was a guest speaker Wednesday at an event sponsored by the W.E.B. Du Bois Society, but he reserved some choice words for Boston Celtics center Kevin Garnett. "We don't get any calls, which I know everybody always hears," Gearon said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "But I'll give you a stat. Last night, we are playing this old physical team. They are old. I know what happens when you play basketball, old guys foul. [Kevin] Garnett is the dirtiest guy in the league. We are playing Boston last night and they had two fouls the whole first half. We had five times that and we're athletic." ESPN.com

May 9, 2012 Updates

Michael Gearon Jr. “On top of all that, we don’t get any calls, which I know everybody always hears. But I’ll give you a stat. Last night, we are playing this old physical team. They are old. I know what happens when you play basketball, old guys foul. [Kevin] Garnett is the dirtiest guy in the league. We are playing Boston last night and they had two fouls the whole first half. We had five times that and we’re athletic.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. On media coverage of Hawks’ playoff series against the Celtics: “Did you see what Al Horford did last night? The timeline for recovery for his injury is another three months. He’s not even supposed to be playing and Josh [Smith] should not be playing. Zaza [Pachulia] can’t stand up, but if we can get past this round there is a chance that we can get him back. So this is a team that is overcoming adversity. I wish . . . some of the national media or even some of the local media, more the paper than the TV guys, recognize how hard these guys are playing based on how injured they are. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

December 26, 2011 Updates

But when the Meruelo deal collapsed in the NBA approval process last month, the ownership group -– led by Bruce Levenson, a Maryland businessman who serves as the Hawks' NBA governor, and Gearon, a lifelong Atlantan –- announced it was removing the for-sale sign from the basketball franchise. "At the beginning of the summer . . . I was just drained and exhausted," Gearon said. "I was emotionally spent. I thought maybe a new face [as owner] might make a difference. By being able to step back over the summer, [I was able to] get recharged, get energized again." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

December 18, 2011 Updates

Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr.: I look at us, and you measure a team on its results: How are we doing vs. the league? There are three teams the last three years that have advanced past the first round. The Lakers—who everybody loves the Lakers—the Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks. It’s not the Dallas Mavericks, it’s not the Miami Heat, it’s not the New York Knicks, it’s not the Oklahoma City Thunder, it’s not the Orlando Magic. It’s just those three. Have we been able to win a championship? No. But our goal is to be as competitive and entertaining as possible and it’s unrealistic to every year have the only measure of your success as winning a championship because one in 30 do it. So you keep getting better and competing each year in order to try to complete for that championship. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Gearon on what he says is an unfair perception, fueled by local media, that the Hawks are not successful and the owners don’t spend money. It’s more of [an AJC] columnist issue. The way it is written is we are cheap, we are bad owners, we do a horrible job and we don’t care. [Tucker] did a piece five or six years ago, he did a father-son piece and he picked my father and I about the bond we had going to [Hawks] games as a kid. Back in the late 70s, 60s they had Picture Day. There I am with Pistol Pete Maravich and Lou Hudson. I think what is tough is, the perception we don’t care is grossly accurate for myself. Because I do care and there is not a day or night that goes by that I’m not miserable when we lose and not high when we win. I’ve also tried not to lose perspective and blow up a roster just for the sake of blowing it up. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

What’s frustrating, from a fan perspective, is that you would look at Atlanta in this market. . . . Tim, you understand the risk we took to get Joe and the reward we got. Unfortunately I think some of that message got lost publicly and how we’ve been viewed [negatively] regardless of the success we had. And I look at things where people say, ‘Oh, well, the Hawks owners are cheap.’ That’s something I hear constantly whether it’s written or radio guys. Yet when you look at the facts . . . This year we will probably have one of the top 5 payrolls in the NBA. It will be right around $70 [million], I will tell you if we are at the trade deadline and we feel like we are missing that piece, that we will think will take us over the top, [we will pay the tax]. . . . Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Joe had what he admits was his worst season after getting that contract. Does he have to play better to justify that contract? I think that justifies that contract is the success of the team. We had the best playoff success we’ve had in our tenure as owners last year. So I don’t judge Joe Johnson on the regular season. We took away the home-court advantage from the team with the best record during the regular season. I think the way we beat them up caused them to lose to Miami. I really do. For us as an organization we are going to judge our success by how we do in the playoffs. Are we going to be competitive and show up? Fortunately we’ve got all of our core players, and you’ve written some of this, they’ve come in to camp in shape. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tucker asked Gearon why he changed his mind about selling the team. New CBA. Having one less team to deal with. We resolved the [Steve] Belkin thing last year. Then we had the issue with our lawyers, got that behind us. It is emotionally draining and challenging to own and operate two teams. Very few teams in sports do it and it’s usually a corporation. [Stan] Kroenke is only one I can think of off the top of my head as an individual. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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