Steve Koonin Rumors
Hawks CEO Steve Koonin hinted after Atlanta’s road win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals that the team will be dropping McMillan’s interim tag following its playoff run. “Nate asked – one of the conditions of taking the job is we do this after the season concludes,” Koonin said on 92.9 The Game’s “Dukes & Bell” on Wednesday. “I’m so pleased on June 23 (that) our season’s not over. It is for 26 other teams; it’s not over for us. So, everything good happens to people who deserve it and will happen in time.”
The NBA looked into the matter, per Hawks CEO Steve Koonin, so the Hawks had to write up reports on what happened. All fans who sit in the courtside seats (that have been pushed back a few yards further than normal) take a rapid-response COVID-19 test before they’re allowed in. There’s also a code of conduct that fans must adhere to when attending games. After the investigation concluded Tuesday night, the Hawks are moving on and no fans will receive a ban, per Koonin: “We have accepted both of their apologies and we are all moving on,” Koonin said.
The Hawks are investigating an incident during which four fans allegedly yelled obscenities at LeBron James while sitting courtside in Atlanta during Monday night’s game against the Lakers, CEO Steve Koonin told The Athletic. Juliana Carlos, one of the people who was escorted out of State Farm Arena, posted video of the incident on her Instagram page and said that she and her group were kicked out after her husband, Chris Carlos, was cursed out by James during the game. She then stood up and said, “Don’t fucking talk to my husband. Talk to my husband one more time and I will fuck you up.”
As the matter escalated, referees stopped play, and security approached the fans before escorting them out of the building. Before exiting through the tunnel, Juliana Carlos looked back and stuck both of her middle fingers in the air. The Athletic reached out to Juliana and Chris Carlos for comment, but neither responded. “I do not know how long this will take,” Koonin said. “It’s the first time I’ve experienced something like this. There’s a protocol. The NBA has a code of conduct (placard) on every chair in the building. This is an NBA matter that obviously we’re involved in. There are NBA security people at every game at every arena in the country.”
For the Hawks and State Farm Arena, Georgia’s primary runoff election in late July and early August was something of a trial run, as turnout was moderate. Now, the state’s largest-ever voting precinct is expanding its early-voting operations for the coming general election, with early voting beginning Oct. 12, the venue staying open for seven days a week, and ending Oct. 30. Voting machines arrived onsite Wednesday.
“We’re treating this like we would a game, in the sense that we have greeters, we have customer-service people, we have more than just a short staff of poll workers,” Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said. “We have the whole infrastructure, including security, that will be part of the process.”
The Hawks are ready for an influx of voters, per Koonin, and are hoping their 700,000 square-foot arena will help provide a quick and safe option for those registered in Fulton County to vote in person. “If we’re as successful as I hope we are and think we are, we might have to rethink, how can we continue this,” Koonin said. “I love the fact that we’re located in the central heart of the city. I love the fact that we’re on rapid transit. I love the fact that there’s no fee to park. We’re trying to knock down all barriers to vote because voting is the one thing that we as Americans have the right to elect our leadership, and we want to make that simple rather than challenging.”