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New Hawks owner says they are going to win rings

Aug 9, 2011, 8:18 AM EDT

Alex Meruelo AP

There is few things more useless than a press conference where the new owner of an NBA team cannot talk about the transaction of buying the team (because it has not been finalized by the NBA’s board of Governors) nor can he talk about the players (because there is a lockout).

This made the usually useless presidential debates seem detailed and interesting. At one point he talked about desert (he likes it) and that may have been the highlight of the show.

But Alex Meruelo tried. The Los Angeles businessman who just bought the Hawks tried to say all the right things and sound bold in his introductory press conference. Dominique Wilkins was there. A real attempt was made to show he planned to do good.

“I will never stop trying to win a championship for Atlanta,” Meruelo said.

I will never stop trying to win the Mega Millions lottery. It could happen. But Meruelo seemed to have the attitude of a fighter and that should make Atlanta fans happy. He is moving to the city and you have to like that he seemed passionate.

Meruelo said he had been in talks to buy the team, had backed out when another bidder went into exclusive negotiations (John Moores) but had stepped back in recently.

As for buying during a lockout, he said he just sees “a tremendous amount of opportunity and growth in this sport.”

We all do. Which makes the lockout all the more frustrating.

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