At some point today, the Atlanta Sprit Group will announce that they have sold the majority ownership stake of the Atlanta Hawks to Alex Meruelo, a Los Angeles business executive and founder of the Meruelo Group. Of course, any time a NBA team is sold, it goes through the Board of Governors first, and this deal could take four or five months, which would obviously interfere with the NBA season and distract the Hawks players.
*rim shot, fart noise, yawn*
But the big news about this deal isn’t that Meruelo is buying a team that probably won’t play for another 14 or 15 months, as much as it’s about the man himself. Meruelo is Cuban, making him the first Hispanic majority owner in league history. And he’s ready to win now. Or as soon as it’s convenient for David Stern and Derek Fisher to meet.
Meruelo (pronounced mur-rell-o) said some members of the Spirit group will maintain minority ownership positions but that he will own more than 50 percent and control ownership decisions. He would not be more specific about the size of his stake and would not divulge the price he has agreed to pay for it.
But he said, “I will be in complete control of the team.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
So he’s like Mark Cuban if Mark Cuban were an actual Cuban. Meanwhile, the Meruelo Group, in case you’re interested and I assume you are, owns and operates a Los Angeles TV station, a casino in Las Vegas and some restaurants, including La Pizza Loco, which means Crazy Pizza. Thanks, 8 years of Florida public school Spanish education!