HoopsHype Steve Koonin rumors

September 29, 2014 Updates

Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins has been named as special advisor to CEO Steve Koonin, the team announced Monday. He was signed to a long-term contract and will continue in his role as Vice President of Basketball. The Hawks also officially announced that a statue of Wilkins will be erected at Philips Arena. The news was previously revealed during a Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed press conference earlier this month. “There is no player more deserving of such an honor than Dominique for his continued commitment to the Hawks and the City of Atlanta,” Koonin said in a statement. “Beyond his amazing play on the court during his Hall-of-Fame career, he has been an ambassador for this franchise and the city for three decades. For all he has accomplished and continues to do for the Hawks franchise and the City of Atlanta, we are proud to bestow this permanent recognition of his legacy.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena today announced plans to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Philips Arena and will construct a larger-than-life-size statue of Hawks' legend Dominique Wilkins. The statue, which is to be unveiled at a special ceremony at Philips Arena on March 5, 2015, will be a symbol of the Hawks' legend's success as a player both on and off the court. Details of the statue and the ceremony will be released at a later date. Additionally, the Hawks have named Wilkins as Special Advisor to CEO Steve Koonin and signed the legend to a new long-term partnership. He will also continue in his role as Vice President of Basketball. CBSSports.com

September 23, 2014 Updates
September 16, 2014 Updates

The Atlanta Hawks cancelled a scheduled meeting between their CEO and city civil rights leaders Wednesday, prompting one of the group’s leaders to say his community was greatly offended. The Rev. Markel Hutchins said the meeting with CEO Steve Koonin was called off “at the last minute.” He later said he received a call from Hawks spokesman Garin Narain on Tuesday night asking the appointment be postponed. Detroit Free Press

September 13, 2014 Updates
September 12, 2014 Updates

Rev. Markel Hutchins: I have hypothesized, and I have no concrete proof, but there’s a strong inclination deep within me that suggests the reason that the meeting with civil rights leaders and the Atlanta Hawks was called off yesterday has everything to do with the league having put the kibosh on the meeting. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that NBA commissioner Adam Silver met with Hawks leadership on Tuesday after I spoke Monday night with Steve Koonin, the CEO of the Hawks. On Tuesday night, I get a call trying to suggest that they want to cancel the meeting with us. I don’t think there’s any coincidence. The NBA is apparently trying to cover this culture, and we have to expose it in order for justice to really prevail for the players. HawksHoop.com

September 10, 2014 Updates

A scheduled meeting between Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and Atlanta civil rights leaders has been cancelled, leading one of the leaders to say his community was greatly offended. The Rev. Markel Hutchins announced Wednesday's meeting was called off "at the last minute." He later said he received a call from Hawks spokesman Garin Narain on Tuesday night asking that it be postponed. Hutchins said he needed to hear that request directly from Koonin. USA Today Sports

September 8, 2014 Updates

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Ferry had received an undisclosed punishment, but would remain as GM. The disparaging racial reference to Deng triggered at least one team owner on the call to pursue an independent investigation into how the organization operated in regard to race. The search uncovered the 2012 email that Levenson sent to Ferry and two minority owners that ultimately led to Levenson's decision, under pressure, to sell his stake in the Hawks. Yahoo! Sports

In an exclusive interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday night, Koonin said while it has not been his focus immediately following the revelation about Levenson there will be no shortage of potential buyers for his shares in the team. “I had over seven phone calls directly today from multi-billionaires,” Koonin said. “It blew my mind some of the people who wrote me today.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Levenson made the abrupt announcement Sunday, months after he self-reported the email to the NBA in July and the team and league commenced an independent investigation into the matter. In an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday night, Hawks co-owner and CEO Steve Koonin said other disciplinary action will be taken, including against general manager Danny Ferry. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

According to Koonin, the Hawks held a meeting in early June to discuss free agency. At that meeting, a player was being discussed and Ferry cited a background report that included an “offensive and racist” remark. “Instead of editing it, he said the comment,” Koonin said. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Following the meeting, one of the Hawks' stakeholders called for an internal investigation based on the remark being in the team's research of a player. The team hired an Atlanta law firm to perform an investigation, which included 19 interviews and a review of more than 24,000 documents, according to the team. It was in the review of these documents that Levenson's email was discovered. ESPN.com

September 7, 2014 Updates
April 14, 2014 Updates

After a decade at Coca-Cola, Koonin joined Turner Entertainment Networks, where he has spent 14 years, most recently serving as the division’s president. He’s been overseeing programming, marketing, scheduling, strategy and operations for top-rated networks TNT, TBS, TruTV and Turner Classic Movies. “I love Turner,” Koonin said in a phone interview Sunday night. “It’s been a phenomenal ride with Turner. If this one opportunity had not come up I would still be at Turner as long as they would have me. But to have a third act of my business career with my hometown sports team was too good an opportunity to pass up.” Saporta Report

More than a year ago, Koonin, 56, began talking to the Hawks owners about becoming a minority investor in the team. As time went on, both sides realized that Koonin’s role could be much larger than just being a minority owner of the team. “Over the past couple of weeks, it really accelerated, and it just seemed right,” said Koonin, who expects to join the Hawks later this spring. “This leaked out before we got all the paperwork done.” Saporta Report

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.