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Report: Hawks close to being sold. Again. Owners deny. Again

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UPDATE June 24, 3:39 am: The Atlanta Spirit, the ownership group for the Hawks, denied the report that a deal is close, according to the Associated Press:

The Atlanta Spirit issued a statement saying “we have spoken with a number of parties, but at this time, there is no deal in place, nor is there an exclusive negotiating agreement in place.”  Hawks spokesman Arthur Triche said Thursday the team had no further comment.

Not sure how close they are, but there sure seems to be a lot of smoke for no fire.

June 23, 6:22 pm: A month ago reports surfaced that the Atlanta Hawks were on the verge of  being sold to John Moores (the man in the process of selling the San Diego Padres). That deal fell apart, but in the mean time the Atlanta Spirit (the name of the ownership group) sold off the Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL, a franchise now on its way to Winnipeg.

Apparently the Spirit did not stop trying to sell the Hawks, too, and they are close to a deal again, according to Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated.

One of the sources confirmed that the sale is about to be consummated, but declined to identify the buyer.

The news was expected to come as a surprise to team officials of the Hawks, who were not aware a sale was imminent as they prepared for the NBA draft. learned of the sale hours before the draft, though the news is not expected to influence the Hawks’ decision-making during the draft.

The buyer may be Moores, the two sides were not exclusively negotiating but may have kept talking, or it could be a different group entirely. Either way, new ownership would likely mean big changes for the Hawks.

Report: Matt Barnes texted friend that he beat up Derek Fisher, spat in wife’s face

Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Russell Westbrook
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Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes reportedly attacked Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating his estranged wife, Gloria Govan.

New details are emerging, and they cast Barnes in an even worse light.

Ian Mohr of the New York Post:

Sources told The Post that Barnes became incensed when his 6-year-old twin sons, Carter and Isaiah, called to tell him that Fisher was at the house.

Following the dust-up, Barnes, 35, texted a pal that he had not only assaulted Fisher, 41, but also took revenge on Govan, one source said.

“I kicked his ass from the back yard to the front room, and spit in her face,” the text read, according to the source.

If this becomes a criminal case, Barnes’ text could incriminate him.

In the court of public opinion, the presence of Barnes’ children and his spitting in his wife’s face make this even more disturbing.

Unfortunately, not everyone views it that way. Too many are laughing off the incident.

Albert Burneko of Deadspin had the best take I’ve seen on this situation:

When an accused domestic abuser shows up uninvited at a family party to—as a source put it to the New York Post—“beat the shit” out of someone for the offense of dating his ex, that is not a wacky character up to zany shenanigans. It is not reality TV melodrama or a cartoon or celebrities being silly. It is the behavior of a dangerous misogynist lunatic. It is an act of violent aggression. It is a man forcefully asserting personal property rights over a woman’s home, body, and life. It differs from what Ray Rice did in that elevator by degree, not by kind, and not by all that much.

I suggest reading it in full.