When Los Angeles business Alex Meruelo had reached an agreement to purchase the Atlanta Hawks franchise and become the majority owner, fans of the Hawks envisioned the franchise turning around in a similar fashion of a Mark Cuban, Jerry Jones or even hometown hero Arthur Blank.
Unfortunately for Meruelo, who was set to be the first Latino owner in the NBA, the question has arisen if Meruelo indeed has the sufficient funds to purchase a majority stake in the Atlanta Hawks, according to a report by ESPN's Marc Stein. The NBA declined comment when asked about Meruelo and the Hawks' situation on Wednesday.
Meruelo released a statement on Wednesday stating the following:
"I have more than ample resources to purchase and operate the Hawks in a first-class manner. I am committed to the purchase of the Atlanta Hawks. While I can't comment on the details of the approval process, I have and will do everything I can to bring the process to a positive conclusion."
It was initially thought that the sale of the Hawks was slowed due to the ongoing labor negotiations between the players and the owners. However, issues with Meruelo's deal was mentioned Tuesday as the Board of Governors gathered in New York City to speak on revenue-sharing options.
While it was mentioned that the Hawks' sale had stalled, it did not prevent the league from announcing the approval of the sale of the Philadelphia 76ers from from Comcast-Spectacor to be purchased by Joshua Harris, a private-equity billionaire.