Hawks GM Billy Knight to resign
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.