Its Strictly Business

The Atlanta Hawks endured a trying time in franchise history. The team was up for sale and the owner expected a tremendous amount for his investment. The Hawks ownership group known as Atlanta Hawks Basketball and Entertainment was led by Bruce Levenson. Bruce eventually agreed to sell the team to an ownership group led by Forbes billionaire Tony Ressler. He did not get the original asking price. However, the return on his initial investment was substantial.

There was other business to be handled within the organization of Atlanta Hawks basketball while the team was up for sale. Former team general manager Danny Ferry was suing the organization for wrongful termination. Ferry was under contract and wanted to be sure that his own contract clauses were thoroughly taken care of. Levenson and his lawyers reached a settlement with the former GM. They ultimately agreed to buy out the remainder of his contract allowing Ferry to move forward and seek further opportunities.

Having this internal legal dynamic settled contributed to smooth negotiations in the sale of the team. However, Bruce Levenson claims that the legal proceedings involving Danny Ferry triggered a clause in the insurance policy that the ownership group has with AIG. AIG never acknowledged such a clause and was not involved in any of the legal proceedings involving the team’s former general manager. Their legal expenses and fees were supposed to be covered by the insurance company according to Levenson.

Bruce Levenson is suing AIG for breach of contract and bad faith. AIG has not acknowledged that any clause in the policy was triggered by the legal process involving its former employee. Currently the insurance company has not made any statement in regards to its case with Atlanta Hawks Basketball and Entertainment.

Tony Ressler and the Atlanta Hawks current ownership group are not implicated in any of the charges related to AHBE and AIG.