Hawks Ownership Dispute Resolved

ATLANTA HAWKS OWNERSHIP DISPUTE RESOLVED

NEW YORK, August 19
- The National Basketball Association announced today that Steven Belkin, co-owner and NBA Governor of the Atlanta Hawks, has reached agreement with his co-owners to sell his ownership interest in Atlanta Spirit LLC, the entity that owns the Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers and operates Philips Arena. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of this year, were not disclosed.

Michael Gearon, Jr. will replace Mr. Belkin as the team's Governor.

"The differing opinions among Hawks owners over the Joe Johnson trade made it clear that philosophical differences exist over how best to build the Hawks into a winning franchise," NBA Commissioner David Stern said. "I appreciate that Steve has voluntarily resigned as NBA Governor in order to ensure that the team can move forward with one voice. I certainly hope that he will consider returning to the NBA as an owner of another franchise in the near future."
The NBA has requested that all parties involved refrain from making further comment.