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Alex Meruelo Buying Hawks, Team Sends Message To Fans

Sunday afternoon, the Atlanta Hawks acknowledged the multiple reports of California businessman Alex Meruelo becoming the first primary owner of the team since Ted Turner, with Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena president Bob Williams posting a letter on the team's website.

Here's the letter, which was addressed to Hawks fans:

Today it was reported that our current owners, Atlanta Spirit LLC, signed an agreement to sell a majority ownership stake in the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena operating rights to The Meruelo Group. Completion of the sale is subject to approval by the NBA Board of Governors, which is expected to occur later this year.

Our ultimate goal has always been and will continue to be bringing championship basketball and world class entertainment to Philips Arena and the city of Atlanta. We value and appreciate your support, and look forward to sharing many more unforgettable moments with you, our fans.

It's hard not to get your hopes up, but one would be wise to remember pretty much all the same stuff was said when the Seattle Sonics were sold. I'm convinced Meruelo doesn't plan on moving the team, but I'm just saying.

Still, how could it possibly be worse than watching the Atlanta Spirit Group sue itself over the NBA's most-overpaid player who isn't Rashard Lewis?

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