I Was A Big Dumb Idiot But Now I’m All Better

Photo: Ronald Martinez (Getty)

Tony Ressler bought the Atlanta Hawks in 2015 for a reported $850 million. The Hawks wrapped up a 60-win season that year, and made the Eastern Conference Finals. In the time that he has owned the team they’ve won fewer games each year, bottoming out last season with a 24-win tank fest, and they figure to be about that bad again this season. Despite that dismal trajectory, Ressler is pretty sure he’s gotten better at this.

Or anyway that’s the gist of this profile in The Athletic, which is a little quick to congratulate Ressler for soaking up public funds to renovate the team’s arena and build a practice facility, and for seeking billions more in public money to develop a downtown area adjacent to their arena. That’s the sort of heinous billionaire behavior that should be criminalized, not celebrated! That ickiness is offset just a wee bit by Ressler’s willingness to acknowledge that he’s spent a big part of his ownership of the Hawks being a big dumb idiot:

“Let’s cut the bullshit—I didn’t know what I was doing,” Ressler said. “I can blame someone else, I can blame you, I can blame my wife. But there was only one schmuck in the room, and that was me.”

[…]

“For two years, I was a deer in the headlights,” he said. “It’s like the story of a poker game when you’re looking around, and you wonder who the fish is. If you don’t know the answer, it’s probably you. I don’t want to blame somebody else because I was the schmuck, and I didn’t have to do it. I realized the mistake the minute after I did it.”

As evidence that he is not a meddling shit-for-brains, Ressler assures Hawks fans that the team passed on Luka Dončić not for marketing reasons, but for pure basketball reasons:

“Basketball operations feels like they have a kid who’s going to be really good with a really high ceiling, and we got a great first-round pick next year. If the rumor is that I picked Trae over Dončić because of marketing, it’s the dumbest fucking thing I can imagine. It’s fundamentally untrue.”

Hawks fans would certainly appreciate this level of candor from their team’s owner, if there were more than like a dozen or so Hawks fans in existence. Ressler is in charge of one of the more stagnant franchises in American professional sports—squeezing the locals for construction funds is hardly a feather in the cap of someone whose performance can be judged by the satisfaction of hometown fans. But ultimately it’ll be on-court success that proves or disproves Ressler’s development as the head of a basketball organization, and that evidence may still be a long way off. Trae Young does look fun as hell, though.

Source link

more recommended stories

  • Russian Weightlifter’s Lower Leg Bones Go Kerblooey During Ill-Fated 250-Kilogram Squat

    The setting for this horrifying video.

  • Fired-Up Raptors Thoroughly Flatten Bucks, Draw Even In Eastern Conference Finals

    Photo: Gregory Shamus (Getty) For the.

  • Phillies’ Bryce Harper Throws Out Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo With 264-Foot Rocket

    Bryce Harper’s hitting still mostly hasn’t.

  • Gareth Bale Deserved Better

    Photo: Denis Doyle (Getty Images) As.

  • Suso Channels His Inner Messi With A Near-Perfect Free Kick To Keep Milan’s Champions League Hopes Alive

    Photo: Emilio Andreoli (Getty Images) AC.

  • Man Dropkicks Arnold Schwarzenegger, Screams “Help Me, I Need A Lamborghini” As Security Drags Him Away

    Arnold Schwarzenegger says “there is nothing.

  • Alex Rodriguez And His Lawyers Very Much Don’t Want Anyone To See A Photo Of Him On The Toilet

    Photo: Drew Hallowell (Getty Images) There’s.

  • “I Am Very Proud Of Myself!”

    Screenshot: Twitter In a minor league.

  • The Las Vegas Aces Swung A Huge Trade For Liz Cambage

    Photo: Hannah Peters (Getty) The best.

  • Brook Lopez Leads The Bucks Over Kyle Lowry And The Raptors, Just As We All Saw Coming

    In an epic matchup of global.

  • Rockies Spoil Chris Sale’s Historic Performance, Beat Red Sox Despite Striking Out 24 Times

    Photo: Kathryn Riley (Getty) Tuesday night.

  • Dodgers Pitcher Julio Urias Arrested On Suspicion Of Domestic Violence

    Photo: Maddie Meyere (Getty) Dodgers pitcher.

  • It Is Probably Not The White Sox’s Year

    Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo (Getty) Let’s check.

  • Kawhi Leonard Wins Game 7 With Insane Buzzer-Beater, Sends Joel Embiid Home Sobbing

    The Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers.

  • Sepp Blatter, Who Tried To Use Money To Ruin Soccer, Thinks That Money Has The Potential To Ruin Soccer

    Photo: Matthias Schrader (AP Photo) Sepp.

  • A Bad Throw To First Forced Niko Goodrum To Send A Flying Knee Into Marwin Gonzalez’s Face

    Detroit’s Niko Goodrum and Minnesota’s Marwin.

  • The 10 Best Deals of May 10, 2019

    Best Deals of the DayThe best.

  • Josh Reddick Rips A Go-Ahead Three-Run Jack Back From The Land Of Dingers

    This insane Josh Reddick catch may.

  • Warriors Dodge A Whole Hailstorm Of Bullets, Hold Off Rockets In Game 5

    The Warriors found themselves in a.

  • Jürgen Klopp And Liverpool Got Everything Right

    Photo: Clive Brunskill (Getty Images) While.

  • Joel Embiid Has Diarrhea

    Photo: Mitchell Leff (Getty Images) In.

  • The Celtics Appear To Be In The Deepest Of Doo Doo

    Photo: Maddie Meyer (Getty) The Celtics.

  • Blues Drop Stars Goalie Ben Bishop With Puck To The Collarbone, Score Over His Writhing Body

    Even with the final score being.

  • The Big Wet President Blames Kentucky Derby Result On PC Police

    Photo: Alex Brandon (AP Photo) Given.

  • Mohamed Salah Exits Game On Stretcher After Suffering A Head Injury Against Newcastle

    In the 67th minute of Liverpool’s.

  • The 10 Best Deals of May 3, 2019

    Best Deals of the DayThe best.

  • It Sure Sounds Like A Cubs Exec Was Trying To Influence Addison Russell Coverage

    Photo: Jeff Curry (Getty) Nine days.

  • Liverpool Couldn’t Finish, And Now They Are (Probably) Finished

    Photo: Michael Regan (Getty Images) Liverpool.

  • Lionel Messi Flings Liverpool Into The Sun In Champions League

    Photo: Catherine Ivill (Getty) If you.

  • Steph Curry’s Finger Mangled And James Harden’s Eye Gouged In Opening Minutes Of Game 2

    Photo: Jeff Chiu (AP) Basketball fans.

  • What The Absolute Hell Was Kyle Lowry Doing?

    Photo: Vaughn Ridley (Getty) It was.

  • Brad Gilbert Will Run For Justin Gimelstob’s Seat On The ATP Board, May Spare The ATP Some Actual Decisions

    Photo: Julian Finney (Getty) Brad Gilbert,.