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Steve Koonin named CEO of Atlanta Hawks

Steve Koonin named CEO of Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have named Steve Koonin as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), it was announced today. In his role as CEO, Koonin will oversee all business, financial and strategic operations of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena. He will also acquire an equity position within the ownership group, and represent the owners as the head of the organization. A nationally respected entertainment and marketing veteran, Koonin’s 28-year track record of working with the National Basketball Association (NBA), along with his marketing expertise and leadership abilities, will help usher in a new era of Atlanta Hawks basketball.

“Steve Koonin’s reputation as a game changer in both marketing and media makes him the ideal leader to usher the Atlanta Hawks into a new era. He has created a legacy as an expert in sports marketing, television, branding and digital media,” said Hawks Majority Owner Bruce Levenson. “The Hawks are thrilled that Steve is joining the ownership group as both our CEO and a partner.”

“I have known Steve for more than two decades and based both on first-hand experience and his stellar record of accomplishments, he is one of the very best executives and creative minds in the entertainment industry,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “I am thrilled that he is joining the Hawks and bringing his expertise and passion for the game to the team and its fans.”

Steve joins the Hawks following a 14-year stint with Turner Entertainment Networks, where he most recently served as the division’s president. As president, he oversaw programming, marketing, scheduling, strategy and operations for top-rated networks TNT, TBS, TruTV, and Turner Classic Movies. Under his watch, the aforementioned networks have won numerous Emmy Awards and Peabody Awards, as well as established ratings records and critical acclaim. Koonin has been instrumental in the programming and media rights acquisition processes around the NBA and NCAA, and has helped build strong brand franchises in “Inside the NBA” and “NBA on TNT”. Prior to Turner, Koonin was at the helm of presence marketing and worldwide advertising at The Coca-Cola Company, where he spent over a decade. While serving as Coca-Cola’s vice president of sports and entertainment marketing, he was named Sports Executive of the Year by Sports Business Journal.

“I have a deep commitment to Atlanta - my family has been a part of this city for nearly a century. I have watched the excitement and potential of the entire city growing together as our sports teams achieve success,” said Koonin. “I couldn’t be more excited to join the Hawks organization. We have a lot of work to do, but I believe my professional experience, my passion for this team and the NBA, as well as the Hawks’ great existing executive talent, including our President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry and President of Business Operations for the Hawks and Philips Arena President Bob Williams, make this organization’s future very bright.”

A lifelong resident of Atlanta, Koonin has given a great deal back to his native city through his civic involvement. Along with his professional successes, Steve has positively impacted many Atlanta organizations important not only to the Atlanta Hawks, but also the team’s fans, business partners, and community. Koonin serves on the boards of Emory Healthcare, the Georgia Aquarium, the Fox Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He is a trustee of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. He attended the University of Georgia, where he and his wife, Eydie, recently established the Koonin Scholars Fund at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The fund will provide scholarships for Grady students preparing for careers in the creative industries and media.

Statement from the Atlanta Hawks

atlanta hawks

The Atlanta Hawks family has learned of the passing of Hawks great and six-time All-Star Lou Hudson today in Atlanta.

Originally drafted in the first round (fourth overall) of the 1966 NBA Draft by the St. Louis Hawks, Hudson averaged 20.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists (.489 FG%, .797 FT%) in his 13-year NBA career, including 11 outstanding seasons with the Hawks. His number 23 is one of three retired jerseys that hangs in the rafters at Philips Arena.

Hudson averaged 18.4 points as a rookie in St. Louis, and was named to the All-NBA Rookie Team. After missing part of the 1967-68 season to serve his country in the United States Army, Hudson returned as the franchise relocated to Atlanta in 1968, and scored the first basket in Atlanta Hawks history on October 15, 1968. In 1970, he helped lead the Hawks to the Western Division Championship.

The 1969-70 season began a stretch of five consecutive years averaging at least 24.0 points per game. In his 11 years with the Hawks, he put up 20.0 points per game or better seven times. He shares the franchise single-game scoring record, having put up 57 points against Chicago on November 10, 1969.

He was traded by Atlanta to the Los Angeles Lakers on September 30, 1977, and played his final two seasons with Los Angeles. Hudson later relocated to Park City, Utah where he served on the City Council in the 1990’s and was active in numerous charitable endeavors. He later moved back to the Atlanta area, and regularly attended games and team alumni events. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1988, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

One of the first three African-American basketball players to attend the University of Minnesota, Hudson played for legendary coach John Kundla. His uniform number 14 was retired by the Gophers in 1994 and he’s a member of the school’s athletic Hall of Fame.

Hudson was born in Greensboro, North Carolina on July 11, 1944 and starred in basketball, football and track at Dudley High School in his hometown. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1966 NFL Draft despite not playing college football.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

STATEMENT FROM ATLANTA HAWKS CO-OWNER MICHAEL GEARON:
“Lou Hudson holds a special place in the Hawks family, in the hearts of our fans and in the history of our club. As a fan growing up with this team, I’m fortunate to say I was able to see almost every game Sweet Lou played as a member of the Hawks. He was an integral part of successful Hawks teams for over a decade, and is deservedly recognized with the ultimate symbol of his significance to the franchise with the number 23 hanging inside Philips Arena. On behalf of the Hawks organization, I’d like to extend condolences to Lou’s family and friends.”

Hawks forward/center Gustavo Ayon had surgery today to repair a right shoulder injury. The surgery was performed at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta by Dr. Xavier Duralde and accompanied by Hawks Team Physician Dr. Michael Bernot from the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic.

Ayon will now undergo a period of rest, treatment and rehabilitation. He will be out through the remainder of the season.

At the time of his injury, Ayon had averages of 4.3 points on .510 shooting, 4.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 blocks in 16.5 minutes per game in 26 games (14 starts).

Atlanta Hawks sign Mike Muscala

Atlanta Hawks sign Mike Muscala

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward/center Mike Muscala to a contract, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Prior to signing with the Hawks, Muscala had played the 2013-14 season with Blusens Monbus Obradoiro of the ACB League in Spain. The 6-foot-11, 230-pounder had averages of 14.6 points (seventh in the ACB) on .546 shooting, a league-leading 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 26.3 minutes per game through 20 games.  He shot .871 from the free throw line and ranked sixth in the league (17.0) in Performance Index Rating, a Euroleague basketball statistic similar to the NBA’s PER.

“We are really excited that Mike was available to join our team. We’ve closely monitored Mike and his progress throughout the ACB season.  Coach Fernandez and his Obradoiro CAB club did an excellent job with his continued development,” Ferry said. “Due to our current injuries, Mike’s representatives presented the concept of Mike joining us for the remainder of the season. With our roster situation and his strong play, we felt now was a good time to add Mike to our program,” Ferry said.

The Hawks acquired the draft rights to Muscala (44th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft) in a trade with Dallas on June 28, 2013. He will wear No. 31.

A four-year letterman at Bucknell (2009-2013), Muscala (muss-KAL-uh) finished his career first on the school’s all-time scoring list (2,036 points), and second in rebounds (1,093) and blocks (271).  He was named the Patriot League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, while also garnering First Team All-Patriot League and Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America honors, after averaging 18.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.3 assists in 31.7 minutes in 34 games (.509 FG%, .453 3FG%, .789 FT%).  In 133 career games, the 6-11 forward/center tallied 15.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.6 in assists in 28.7 minutes (.501 FG%, .435 3FG%, .819 FT%). Muscala, 22, is a native of St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Hawks release Dexter Pittman

Hawks release Dexter Pittman

The Atlanta Hawks have released center Dexter Pittman, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Pittman, who was signed to a 10-day contract on Feb. 22, appeared in two games with the Hawks this year.

The Atlanta Hawks have signed center Dexter Pittman to a 10-day contract, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Most recently, Pittman spent time this season with the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League, playing in 17 contests (nine starts), and averaged 9.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 17.5 minutes (.538 FG%, .717 FT%).

Over three NBA seasons, Pittman has appeared in 48 regular season games (six starts) with Miami and Memphis, averaging 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 7.2 minutes (.454 FG%). He has seen action in three career postseason contests.

He will wear uniform no. 45, and will be available for tonight’s game vs. New York.

Atlanta Hawks waive Jared Cunningham

The Atlanta Hawks have requested waivers on guard Jared Cunningham, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Cunningham appeared in five games with the Hawks this year.

Hawks GM shares trade deadline insight

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog reporting insight from Hawks general manager Danny Ferry:

On trying to trade for a center: “We are missing Gustavo (Ayon) for a period, to be determined. Pero (Antic), to be determined. Obviously, Al (Horford) is out for the year. Those are tough for our group. We are going to be undersized most nights. But hopefully we get one or two of those guys back coming up here and get our group more whole. We won’t be completely whole the rest of the year. This is the NBA. Injuries are part of it. We have to work around it. You can’t use them as excuses. But there is also a reality to them and we’ve had to deal with them this year.”

On trade deadline under new Collective Bargaining Agreement: “You see a lot of small deals, a lot of cap deals, a lot of CBA-centric deals happen today. A couple teams probably improved themselves some, whether that is from positioning in salary cap or that’s in the roster… No deal is better than a bad deal. Every team has had bad deals and has had to live with bad deals. … We have to continually and methodically make sound decisions to put ourselves in the best position to succeed. You are going to need some luck. You are going to need some health. You are going to need a lot of things.”

Hawks sign Cartier Martin for rest of season

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward Cartier Martin for the remainder of the season, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Martin has appeared in 31 games (four starts) with the Hawks this season, averaging 6.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in 17.1 minutes (.429 FG%, .424 3FG%, .794 FT%). He has also played in six contests this year with the Chicago Bulls, and averaged 2.5 points in 7.9 minutes (.625 FG%, .600 3FG%).

On the season, Martin has played in 37 games (four starting assignments), putting up 6.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in 15.6 minutes (.438 FG%, .433 3FG%- sixth in the NBA, .763 FT%).

Atlanta Hawks waive Antawn Jamison

Atlanta Hawks waive Antawn Jamison

The Atlanta Hawks have requested waivers on forward Antawn Jamison, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Jamison was acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 20 in exchange for the draft rights to Cenk Akyol. This season, Jamison has appeared in 22 games, averaging 3.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 11.3 minutes.

Clippers trade Antawn Jamison to Hawks

Clippers trade Antawn Jamison to Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have acquired Antawn Jamison from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for the draft rights to Cenk Akyol, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

This season, Jamison has appeared in 22 games, averaging 3.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 11.3 minutes. He has averaged 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game over 16 seasons with Golden State, Washington, Cleveland, the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers. He was drafted fourth overall in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors.

Akyol was selected by the Hawks in the second round (59th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft. He currently plays for Galatasaray Liv Hospital in Turkey.

Pero Antic (stress fracture, right ankle) has progressed to conditioning exercises and light shooting. He continues to feel minor discomfort while conducting certain rehabilitation activities and the timeline for his return to normal basketball activity is indefinite.

Gustavo Ayon suffered a right shoulder injury in last night’s game at Indiana. He will be listed as OUT for tonight’s game vs. Washington and his status will be updated as appropriate.

DeMarre Carroll, who has missed the last two games due to a left hamstring strain, is a game-time decision for tonight.

Al Horford, who had right pectoral muscle surgery on December 31, began the first phase of his physical therapy yesterday. His progress will be updated as appropriate and he remains out for the season.

John Jenkins, who underwent lower back surgery on February 3, remains out.

Lou Williams, who suffered a migraine during last night’s game at Indiana, is listed as probable for tonight.

The Atlanta Hawks signed forward Cartier Martin to a second 10-day contract, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Martin has appeared in 27 games (two starts) with the Hawks this season, averaging 6.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 17.0 minutes (.415 3FG%, .821 FT%). He has also played in six contests this year with the Chicago Bulls, and averaged 2.5 points in 7.9 minutes (.625 FG%, .600 3FG%).

On the season, Martin has played in 33 total games (two starting assignments), putting up 5.8 points and 1.8 rebounds in 15.3 minutes (.426 3FG% - tied for ninth in the NBA, .781 FT%).

The Atlanta Hawks have assigned guard Jared Cunningham to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Cunningham, who was recalled from Bakersfield on January 23, has averaged 15.2 points, 4.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 29.8 minutes in 17 games (14 starts) over three stints with the Jam this season. He has appeared in five games with the Hawks this year.

Atlanta Hawks guard John Jenkins underwent successful lower back surgery this morning. The surgery was performed by Dr. Hal Silcox from the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic.

Jenkins will undergo a period of rest and recovery, followed by treatment and rehabilitation, and will miss the remainder of the season.

The second-year guard appeared in 13 contests this season, averaging 3.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.2 minutes.

Hawks sign Cartier Martin to 10-day contract

The Atlanta Hawks signed forward Cartier Martin to a 10-day contract, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry. Martin will be active for tonight’s game against Minnesota at Philips Arena.

Martin, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward, appeared in 25 games (two starts) with the Hawks earlier this season, averaging 6.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 17.5 minutes (.405 3FG%, .821 FT%). After being waived on January 7, 2014, Martin signed two 10-day contracts with the Chicago Bulls, where he played in six contests and averaged 2.5 points in 7.9 minutes (.625 FG%, .600 3FG%).

On the season, Martin has played in 31 total games (two starting assignments), putting up 5.8 points and 1.8 rebounds in 15.6 minutes (.416 3FG% - tied for 16th in the NBA, .781 FT%).

He will again wear uniform no. 20.

The National Basketball Association game scheduled for this evening between the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena has been postponed due to severe weather conditions in the Atlanta area.

The game will be rescheduled at a later date.

Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Jan. 20, through Sunday, Jan. 26.

Millsap led the Hawks to a 3-1 week behind averages of 21.3 points (ninth in the conference) on .508 shooting from the field, 7.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.5 steals (fifth in the conference) and 2.0 blocks (fourth in the conference). Millsap collected five blocks in a road win over the Orlando Magic on Jan. 22, and filled the stat sheet with 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists on Jan. 20, in a win over the Miami Heat.

Durant led Oklahoma City to three wins during a 4-0 week, having missed the 101-83 win over the Celtics on Jan. 24 (shoulder). He averaged a league-leading 38.0 ppg and added 8.7 rebounds and 6.3 assists. Durant collected a triple-double with 32 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists during a 103-91 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Jan. 25.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Brooklyn’s Mirza Teletovic, Charlotte’s Al Jefferson, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Memphis’ Zach Randolph, Miami’s Chris Bosh and LeBron James, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross.

pero antic ankle injury

Atlanta Hawks forward/center Pero Antic suffered a mild right ankle sprain against the Brooklyn Nets in London on Jan. 16. X-rays taken following the game were negative and he continued to play without missing games. An MRI and examination today by Dr. Ashok Reddy at Peachtree Orthopaedics in Atlanta revealed a stress fracture to his right ankle. He will now be placed in a protective walking boot. The expected recovery time is approximately two-to-four weeks and his status will be updated as appropriate.

Forward DeMarre Carroll left last night’s game at Orlando in the third quarter due to left hamstring irritation. After receiving treatment today and being seen by Dr. Reddy, it was determined he has a mild left hamstring strain. His status is listed as day-to-day.

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward James Nunnally to a 10-day contract, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

In 19 starts with the Bakersfield Jam this season, Nunnally has averaged 18.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 33.6 minutes (.448 FG%, .415 3FG%, .853 FT%). Following this week’s NBA D-League Showcase in Reno, NV, he was named to the All-Showcase first team by NBA scouts and basketball operations personnel.

Undrafted in 2012 out of UC Santa Barbara, he also played with the Jam last season, appearing in 49 contests (eight starts) and averaging 10.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 19.7 minutes (.430 FG%, .406 3FG%, .884 FT%). Nunnally was with the Phoenix Suns in training camp in 2013, and saw action in three preseason games.

As a senior at UC Santa Barbara in 2011-12, Nunnally put up 15.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 33.8 minutes (.458 FG%, .813 FT%).

Nunnally will wear uniform no. 2.

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