Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Day One: Atlanta's Spirit Held Hostage
Kristi E. Swartz has been given the prime position of hanging out in Rockville, Maryland for the Atlanta Spirit, LLC self-wimmolation cat fight.
Apparently, after Day One, seven of the eight owners think that Steve Belkin ((pictured, thanks AJC)) is "evil." Or, at least in one memo, Bruce Levinson thinks Belkin fits the description. A lot of people just think the group on the whole fits the bill.
"Rob Remar, the lawyer representing the majority of the ownership group, said Belkin’s lawsuit, which has dragged on for more than three years, is about his desire to “control and dominate” the other owners, who live in Atlanta and Washington. And, it’s about greed, he said, during opening arguments.
The trial is expected to last about two weeks.
Belkin's attorney, Jack Fabiano, argued that his client completed his side of the deal — he let the owners sign Joe Johnson, and he stepped down as NBA governor. So, now, the other partners should pay up — $142.8 million — plus millions in interest.
“We ask the court to give Mr. Belkin what he bargained for,” Fabiano said, saying an appraisal one completed by J.P. Morgan, should be honored. “He was supposed to get a return, and he hasn’t gotten a nickel.”
The case is in Maryland because the owners previously agreed to litigate there. Each side has the right to appeal the judge’s decision, which could drag the already protracted legal process on for another nine months to a year, leaving the ownership of the teams in limbo yet again.
In the long run, the decision could affect whether the group known as the Atlanta Spirit will be able to financially support two professional teams. According to recent court documents, the Spirit has lost more than $174 million since the 2002-03 season, including $50 million in the past two years alone."
Those of us at OSG HQ feel the majority opinion on the group as a whole is the opinion that matters. That all of them need to be dismissed from their duties as governors and owners. They need to go sit in a corner, or go lock themselves in a room. The last man who comes out of the room alive gets nothing.
He's just the last man standing in a protracted legal mess that has killed one franchise, has a 10-year-old building awaiting general maintenance, and a second franchise damn lucky the owners actually care about its well-being.
Ah, screw 'em...
All we can really say to all involved is listen to the words of Michael Stipe and Athens, Georgia band- REM:
Waste another year...