Sports Outside the Beltway

Atlanta Spirit Squabbling Continues

According to an article in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a former member of the Hawks and Thrashers ownership group could potentially end up owning both franchises himself:

Could Steve Belkin, whose deal to depart the Hawks and Thrashers’ ownership group drew applause from employees last summer, wind up as sole owner of the teams?

Yes, he suggests in a new court motion.

In the latest twist to an ever-deepening legal quagmire, Belkin contends that a recent ruling by a Maryland judge means he should have the right to buy out his partners at cost.

The motion asks the Maryland court to enter a judgment declaring, among other things, that Belkin’s partners “failed and refused” to complete the buyout of his stake under the prescribed timetable, and that Belkin therefore “shall purchase all of the interests” held by his partners “for a price equal to [their] aggregate contributed capital.”

In other words, the argument goes, the other owners would get back the money they have put in — about $31 million to date — and Belkin would get the teams.

Obviously, the other owners will have something to say about this as well. As arrogant (and incompetent) as some of the professionals sports owners can be, there’s a lot to be said for having just one person running the ship.

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