Hawks owner and his 27-year-old son driving force behind franchise’s dysfunction


Despite the struggles and shortcomings on the court, the Hawks are failing even more miserably off the court, and it began before the season. The Hawks swung big by acquiring Dejounte Murray but wouldn’t fully commit to winning, trading Kevin Huerter in a salary dump to avoid the luxury tax threshold after Tony Ressler stated multiple times it didn’t scare him, and the situation has progressively worsened.

Reports surfaced of some serious problems between Trae Young and Nate McMillan; then, there were murmurs of the head coach stepping down. However, before that could happen, former GM Travis Schlenk, who is credited for his work of building an Eastern Conference Finals roster, did step down from his role. This has felt like a train running off the rails for weeks, and a recent story from The Athletic’s Sam Amick confirms the dysfunction.

Essentially, Nick Ressler, the 27-year-old son of the team’s owner, has had an increased voice and influence on all decisions in and around the team, despite just being the Director of Business and Basketball Operations. Apparently, Nick Ressler played a pivotal role in the events leading up to Schlenk’s “exile” and eventual resignation.

“It is clear that Nick Ressler’s voice is being heavily considered on all things Hawks these days.”

Nick Ressler, who has absolutely no business running a professional franchise (which he basically is now), was reportedly a driving force behind the Hawks deal to acquire Dejounte Murray. The All-Star point guard was an excellent addition, but according to Amick, “it [the trade] went down despite Schlenk expressing his concerns about the price being paid.”

“I mean, there’s a lot going on (that’s) non-basketball,” Murray told The Athletic.

Honestly, I expect Dejounte Murray to leave the Hawks when his contract expires unless things turn around expeditiously. Why on earth would he sign a long-term deal with a mess of a franchise like the Hawks? He came from a world-class organization in the San Antonio Spurs. He knows there are greener pastures.

This Hawks franchise has had a spectacular fall from grace. The team overachieved and made the Conference Finals a couple of years ago, but it’s been a non-stop disappointment since then. If Tony Ressler is really just letting his unqualified son run this team in the ground, there’s no reason any of us should support the team. The fans deserve better.

Photographer: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire
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