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New Hawks Owner Alex Meruelo: 'I Want To Bring A Championship To Atlanta'

Well, that was quick. Moments after the Associated Press reported California's Alex Meruelo as the new owner of the Atlanta Hawks, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Mark Bradley dropped a conversation with the man himself.

In it we learn Meruelo is a former high school basketball player who worked his way up through the business world, starting by leasing a tuxedo rental shop. Take a look around the web and you'll see he followed that opportunity by opening a chain of Latin pizzerias, picking up real estate and getting into media.

And look at that portfolio-- this guy has been successful at quite an array of ventures.

He tells Bradley he's a sports fan, but primarily a hoops guy, and "1,000 percent a fan of the Atlanta Hawks." As Bradley points out, the way Meruelo talks about his goals for a pro sports team in Atlanta certainly call to mind Arthur Blank more than they do Liberty Media or the Atlanta Spirit Group. Can't help but like to hear that.

He says he will be "in complete control of the team," with the ultimate goal of bringing a title to Atlanta.

The deal isn't official until the NBA approves, but so far you have to like what you're hearing.

For more Hawks, head to Peachtree Hoops.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.