Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Good Knight

This showed up in my email this morning...


On July 1st, he will end six-year tenure with the Hawks after the franchise

earned its first playoff berth in nine seasons

ATLANTA, GA ----- The Atlanta Hawks announced today that Executive Vice-President and General Manager Billy Knight has submitted his resignation, effective July 1st, after six seasons with the club.

“The time has come for me to take a break and fully evaluate my future plans,” said Knight. “I am tremendously pleased with what we were able to accomplish this season in reaching the postseason, as the Hawks’ return to the playoffs energized the city and our franchise. My passion for the franchise has never wavered, but I feel I’m leaving the organization in much better shape than it was in when I took over. I also appreciate the jobs done by Mike (Woodson), his staff and the players during this season. They are most deserving of the praise and accolades they earned during a tough, seven-game series against the Eastern Conference’s top team entering the playoffs, and I wish them and the Hawks organization the very best in the future.”

Knight, 55, was the chief architect behind the rebuilding of the Hawks, taking over the position of General Manager in April 2003 after spending one season as Atlanta’s Director of Basketball Operations. In his six years, the Hawks went from an underachieving franchise with overpaid players to one whose transformation began with making wise decisions through the draft and developing that talent, while maintaining financial flexibility to acquire the best talent mix without handicapping the future of the club.

The Hawks finished 2007-08 with a 37-45 record and extended the Boston Celtics to seven games in the first round of the playoffs, the franchise first postseason berth since the 1998-99 (lockout-shortened) season.

“We respect the decision Billy has made to resign and we are grateful and appreciative of the job he has done,” said Atlanta Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon. “Billy has built a team of athletic, high character players who have enormous potential. Under his leadership, the Hawks were not only the youngest team in this year’s playoffs, but have also proven to be the most exciting team Atlanta has seen since the Dominique (Wilkins) era of the 80's. We look forward to building on Billy's success as we continue our efforts to emerge as one of the NBA's elite franchises for a long time to come.”

Formerly with the Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers in various capacities, Knight has spent nearly 25 years in the NBA as a player or front office executive.

That was pretty fast. Faster than the Hawks move usually. Wonder if Woody is next.

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