Hawks hire Rick Sund as new GM
The Atlanta Hawks today named Rick Sund as the team's
General Manager, according to Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon. Sund has
more than 30 years of NBA experience, including stints with the Seattle
Sonics, Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks and Milwaukee Bucks.
"Rick has an enormous amount of experience, and an outstanding
reputation around the league," Gearon said. "During this process, as we
spoke with basketball people that we respect around the NBA, everyone
had glowing things to say about Rick and his work. Our objective was to
add an individual who would help us take the momentum we gained last
season, and move to the next level. We feel we've done that, and we're
thrilled to add someone of Rick's caliber to our franchise."
"I'm very excited and impressed with what the Hawks have currently
developed," said Sund, from the Orlando NBA Pre-Draft Camp, "and I look
forward to continuing that process. They captivated the attention of
fans locally and nationally with their play during the playoffs, and I
too, was impressed with the effort they displayed throughout that series
"We have a great nucleus of players, and while we have some work ahead
of us, there's tremendous potential and continued growth with the guys
on this roster. I look forward to getting more familiar with the
coaching staff and players as we look to build on the success this
franchise has enjoyed this postseason."
Formerly the General Manager of the Seattle Sonics from 2001-07, Sund
and the Sonics were the inaugural champions of the Northwest Division in
2004-05, and the team reached the postseason twice during his tenure.
Prior to that, he served in several different roles with the Dallas
Mavericks from 1979-94, finishing up as Vice President of Basketball
Operations. At the start of his tenure, he helped the expansion
Mavericks develop their inaugural season roster as the Director of
Player Personnel. Selected by then-GM Norm Sonju, Sund - at the age of
28 - became the youngest person in league history to hold that position.
One of the NBA's most-respected front office executives, Sund presided
over a Mavericks team that won a franchise-record 55 games and took home
the Midwest Division title in 1986-87. Dallas matched or improved their
record in each of the franchise's first eight seasons, reaching the
playoffs on six occasions and making it to the Western Conference Finals
In 1994, he spent one season as a consultant for the Sonics during Wally
Walker's first season as GM, managing the Sonics' college scouting
program and assisted Walker with personnel decisions.
Sund joined the Pistons as Vice President of Player Personnel in the
summer of 1995, assuming the title of Executive VP and General Manager
of Basketball Operations a year later. The Pistons, winners of 100
games in his first two seasons, participated in the playoffs four times
during his Detroit years, where he spent six seasons (1995-2001). He
assisted in developing the Pistons in the areas of roster and player
development, trades, contract negotiations, player drafts, free-agent
acquisitions and other team operations.
Sund began his career in Milwaukee, spending five years with the Bucks
after graduating with a master's degree in sports administration from
Ohio University in 1974.
He was a two-sport athlete at Northwestern University, where he was
twice named academic All-Big Ten on the basketball squad (he was a 6-4
guard for the Wildcats), while also seeing action as a tight end and
wide receiver on the football team. He holds a bachelor's degree in
political science from Northwestern.
Sund is currently in Orlando serving as one of the co-chairman of the
NBA's Pre-Draft camp. He is also serves on the board of the directors
for the Special Olympics for the state of Washington, and the advisory
board of the University of Oregon's business school's Warsaw Sports
Marketing and Management Division.