With every new era, new expectations come with it. Some expect more than others, some expect less, but few expect more than the man who triggered the newest era of the Atlanta Hawks himself, Alex Meruelo.
"My focus is one focus: to bring a championship back to Atlanta. That's it." Meruelo said, "I'm committed to the city, I'm committed to winning, and I'm committed to a championship team."
He later continued, "I can't promise you a championship. I can promise you I'll never give up."
He has high expectations for himself as an owner and has high aspirations to go with it. He's stated he will be a hands-on owner, and, of course, that's what people want to hear.
The Atlanta Spirit Group (former ownership of the Hawks) carelessly tossed out money and giant contracts as they tried to cling to a slipping core. They gave Mike Bibby and Marvin Williams huge extensions. They inked Joe Johnson to one of the biggest contracts in the NBA. They made basketball decisions when they weren't basketball people.
Meruelo seems like a basketball guy. He seems to know and love the sport. He seems to be just what the Hawks need.
Just because he is a basketball "guy" however, still doesn't mean he is the one divine voice the Hawks should turn to. Sure, it's a relief not to have the owners suing each other (...ASG...), but hopefully he can give a new GM wiggle room. Hopefully, Meruelo lets the staff of real basketball people, make the basketball decisions.
He was not able to state any of his plans for the team due to the ongoing NBA lockout, but here are 5 bold predictions for the Atlanta Hawks under Alex Meruelo.