Source: Hawks Will Keep GM, Coach
ATLANTA (AP) _ The Atlanta Hawks will keep general manager Billy Knight and coach Terry Stotts for the upcoming NBA season, a source told The Associated Press.
The move was not unexpected but their jobs had been in jeopardy because of the proposed sale of the team from AOL-Time Warner to David McDavid. The slow pace of negotiations left the Hawks with little choice but to bring them back.
The source close to the team, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the decision would be announced at a news conference Monday.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on its Web site that Knight and Stotts would likely be kept for the 2003-04 season.
Stotts was named coach of the Hawks on Dec. 26 when Lon Kruger was fired. The team went 24-31 after the change.
Given the uncertainty with the pending sale, the Hawks allowed Stotts to talk with other teams. He was a finalist for the head coaching job in Milwaukee, where he once serve as an assistant, but lost out to Terry Porter.
Stotts also interviewed for the head coaching job in Philadelphia and an assistant’s job with the New York Knicks.
Knight, who was general manager of the Vancouver-Memphis Grizzlies for two seasons, took over on an interim basis with the Hawks last season after longtime GM Pete Babcock was fired. Knight played with the Indiana Pacers in the ABA and NBA, finishing as the leading scorer in franchise history.
McDavid, a Texas businessman, also is negotiating to buy the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers and operating control of Philips Arena. He was given exclusive negotiating rights to buy the Hawks and Thrashers in April. The sale was expected to close by the end of June, but has not been completed.