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NBA lockout provides time for new Atlanta owner
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As an Atlanta Hawks fan, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that new team owner Alex Meruelo stays busy diving into the details of his recent purchase as pro basketball deals with what in all likelihood will be a long and combative player lockout. Meruelo takes over the Hawks’ ownership from the dysfunctional Atlanta Spirit, a conglomerate of executives whose tenure resulted in three consecutive playoff trips, but also an inner-ownership lawsuit that undoubtedly left a black eye on the franchise. It’s not often that an NBA trade leads to a lawsuit by a team owner fighting for the transaction not to go through, but that’s exactly what happened in the fall of 2005 when Atlanta was trying to acquire shooting guard Joe Johnson.