Wednesday, August 24, 2005

[NBA] Bruce Levenson

Maybe you still have no idea who the heck this guy is, but you should have from now on.

Levenson, co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, recently log on the message board of, and offer a great bargain ticket deal on the Nov. 10 home game vs the Clippers for Hawks fans. (You can read the reactions on also)

The original text by Levenson:

Joined: 20 Jun 2004
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:35 pm
Post subject: Dear Hawks Fans

Since I became an owner, I have from time to time checked RealGM and Hawksquawk to get a sense of the thoughts of our most dedicated fans. In the past several weeks, I have closely read your comments on the Joe Johnson trade and the conflict within our ownership group. I was struck by your passion for the Hawks. It's that passion that we desparately need as we build this young team. Over the past year, several of you have chatted about meeting at a game and I would love to assist in making this possibe. So I've arranged the following:

Between now and September 1st you can purchase lower level tickets to the Hawks game on November 10th vs. the LA Clippers -- for only $10 each! These seats are normally $55! Plus, I will choose two of you that purchase these tickets to sit with me in my floor seats and watch
the Hawks Rise Up and beat the Clippers!

Here is how to take advantage of this special offer. Click on the link below and type in the word owner in the "Enter Special Offer Code or Password" box and order your tickets to this game.

Look forward to meeting you at the game and an exciting season ahead.

Bruce Levenson

This also reminds me about the "Playoffs or $125 refund" promise made by Hawks management in 2002.

No team has suffered more under the tech giant's tyranny than the Hawks. The acquisition of Glenn Robinson and the return to health of center Theo Ratliff, combined with incumbent scorers Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Jason Terry, had the franchise giddy with possibility. So much so that the team guaranteed a playoff appearance to their season-ticket holders, or else they would refund them $125. At the moment, the Hawks have the 11th best record in the East, and even that modest goal looks remote. Unless they improve, AOL will owe season-ticket holders close to $500,000.

The hype ignored the obvious—that there weren't enough balls to go around for the shot demands of Robinson, Abdur-Rahim, and Terry; that no one on the team, save the brittle, foul-prone Ratliff, had an inkling of ever playing defense; and that coach Lon Kruger was hopelessly overmatched. Kruger was finally dismissed in a day-after-Christmas twin killing with Thrasher coach Curt Fraser. Typical for AOL, Bloody Christmas came off not as a surgical strike but a Clouseau-esque shot in the dark. Fraser was dismissed in midmorning; Kruger in the late afternoon. Stan Kasten, president of both teams, told the media that the moves were unrelated. It's as though AOL honchos finally got up the courage to fire one, then sat around thinking, "You know, Kruger is no good either, let's get rid of him, too!" It's team management via sports talk radio.

The new coach, Terry Stotts, is a nice guy, which immediately separates him from Kruger, who had the surly demeanor of a Waffle House short-order cook. Stotts' job security will depend on how well he can multitask—with only Alex English and Steve Henson as assistants, the Hawks staff is simply undermanned. Stotts would prefer to install more zone defenses to keep his thin front line out of foul trouble, but that means hiring another hand or two, which AOL seems unlikely to finance.

Matching the on-court lassitude is AOL's dismal effort to revive the team's fan base. During last Wednesday's 34-point drubbing at the hands of the Miami Heat, the Philips Arena crowd was announced at 8,414, roughly double the number that was actually there. The marketing geniuses have all but ignored the city's huge black community, which includes celebrities like Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Whitney Houston, Evander Holyfield, and Chuck D. The Hawks spend far more time reaching out to the half-hearted fans in the suburban sprawl.

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