All posts by GianC

The Atlanta Hawks Are Soaring

For almost a decade the Atlanta Hawks have lived in complete mediocrity. It was following their acquisition of Joe Johnson that things finally started to turn around. In 2002 Bruce Levenson acquired the team and by 2007, with the acquisition of Al Horford alongside Joe Johnson, the squad started to seriously turn things around. In 2014 we saw Atlanta win 60 games and make it to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 50 years. Now Levenson has opted to sell his ownership in the team in order to move on to other ventures, leaving Atlanta in a rather precarious situation.

The No Superstar Build
The NBA is often built around the idea that superstars rule the league. If you don’t have a superstar, according to this theory, you cannot be a legitimate contender. Last season the Hawks won 60 games despite the fact that no player scored even 17ppg on the team. Paul Millsap led the squad with a 16.7ppg average. However Atlanta’s entire starting five averaged double figures with Dennis Schroder coming off the bench for an additional 10. The team rode their well rounded line up farther than anybody could have guessed and now, after making it to the ECF, fans are wondering if Atlanta can repeat.

The biggest question Hawk fans are asking, in the wake of Levenson’s departure, is how will Atlanta hold up for another year with high expectations. The Hawks historically haven’t held on to long term success and they’ve struggled at times to progress in a logical manner. Losing Demarre Carroll and Mike Scott this past offseason, one to free agency and the other to drug issues, is likely going to shake things up enough to cause issues. Not only is their line up going to be different but the rest of the squads around them have gotten much better.

Take, for instance, the Miami Heat. Last season Miami was a bottom feeder thanks to LeBron’s departure and injury issues to Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. This past offseason the Heat resigned Wade, resigned Goran Dragic, and acquired both Amare Stoudemire and Gerald Green. This team, if healthy, could seriously contend in the Southeast. Then look at Washington. Washington acquired Jared Dudley, Gary Neal, and Ramon Sessions to round out their bench. Another year of evolution for John Wall and Bradley Beal could have them poised for a huge jump.

No matter what Atlanta does in 2016 the path has been laid out for expectations. Fans want to see Atlanta as an annual contender and the city deserves it. Atlanta is a huge NBA market and when the Hawks are good so is business in the city, making this season more important than ever.

Tim Bradley Almost Got Knocked Out

Tim Bradley took on undefeated Jessie Vargas for the WBO welterweight title on Saturday and nearly lost the fight in the final minute. Bradley, who currently hold a record of 32-1-1, was in control of the fight most of the night and it looked like he would cruise to a unanimous decision win over Vargas when he was caught by a right hadn’t that hurt Bradley and almost knocked him to the ground. The fight continued as Bradley tried to clear the cobwebs out and then the referee, hears the 10 second bell, thought it was the end of the fight and ended the fight 10 seconds too soon.

In the end, Sam Tabar indicated that the judge’s scorecards were all in favor of Bradley but when the referee stopped the fight early, Vargas’s corner though he was stopping the fight because Bradley was out on his feet. The corner started celebrating the victory. Carl Moretti, V.P. of Bradley promoter Top, went into the ring to ask Russell what happened and he stated that he thought the fight was over when he heard the 10 second bell. The veteran referee was booed by the fans at the fight but Bradley stated that the right hand did hurt him but that he would have survived anther ten seconds. This is the fifth time Bradley has won a championship belt. He stated that he wants to be able to give each of his five children their own belt.

Amir Khan Open To Pacquiao Fight

Amir Khan is an extremely popular boxer, and he recently defeated Chris Algieri not too long ago. However, folks at Beneful say some people thought that Chris Algieri actually won the fight, but that is debatable. Amir Khan seems to believe that he deserves a Mayweather or Pacquiao matchup, but several boxing fans don’t share the same opinion.

Amir Khan has been chasing the Floyd Mayweather fight for so long, but Mayweather recently revealed that Amir Khan is not on his radar. However, Amir Khan is still very hopeful that he will get a chance to fight Floyd Mayweather in September, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Nonetheless, Amir Khan did reveal that he would be willing to fight Manny Pacquiao in Dubai.

Yahoo! Sports recently published an article with more information about Amir Khan’s future. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Amir Khan fight Manny Pacquiao. Amir Khan and Pacquiao have a history together, and they were once sparring partners. However, they had a falling out, and Amir Khan spoke very negatively about Freddie Roach. Manny Pacquiao versus Amir Khan would create fireworks, and it would be a perfect comeback fight for Manny Pacquiao in 2016. Amir Khan is a decent fighter, but I don’t feel that he is on the level of Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacqiao. Nonetheless, I do enjoy watching him fight in the ring, and I’ll definitely watch his next fight.

Hawks Found A New Home With Ressler

Bruce Levenson partnered with Ed Peskowitz to take on the role as co-founder when they created the United Communications Group (UGC). During the last 27 years, Levenson helped to sustain UCG’s strategic business plans which resulted in achieving outstanding results for the firm. Before founding UCG, he was a writer for the Washington Star and Observer Publishing and also served on the Board of Directors of the Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association. Years later, Levinson gained ownership of the Atlanta Hawks and the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers. He also acquired operating rights to Philips Arena, Gearon, and other partners for $250 million in 2004. The Thrashers eventually moved to Winnipeg.

Last September, Levenson announced his intention to sell its 50.1% share of the Hawks team as well as operating rights to Philips Arena. In line with this decision, they hired Goldman Sachs and Inner Circle Sports in October to look for interested groups during the sales process. Goldman Sachs predicted that the team’s franchise and arena’s operating rights could generate at least $1 billion.

The lengthy sales process took seven long months before a prospect for the next ownership of the Hawks finally emerged. According to several people who are familiar with the process, Hawks ownership group finalized the sale of the team to a group led by Antony Ressler. This equity and investment fund manager teamed up with former NBA All-Star Grant Hill, Rick Schnall, Jesse Itzler and his wife, Sara Blakely. This group was reported to have recently purchased the Hawks from Bruce Levenson, Michael Gearon Jr., and other partners for $850 million. The said sources were anonymous because they are not authorized to speak in public due to nondisclosure agreements signed by Hawks ownership and prospective buyers.

The auction ended with a $730 million bid by a group managed by AresManagement LP’s billionaire co-founder Tony Ressler. A year ago he also planned to acquire the Los Angeles Clippers but his group did not go up against the $2 billion offer made by Steve Ballmer. Ressler, who is also a real estate developer, was included among the three finalists in the Los Angeles Clippers sale during the last spring. The 55-year-old billionaire was part of the investment firm led by Mark Attanasio that purchased the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005.

Ressler mentioned in a statement that he is honored and thrilled to be the new stewards of the Hawks. He also added that he respects the process of approval by the NBA and that he is excited by the success of Hawks in the playoffs. Some deals from local and national TV promised to provide assistance in the financial situation of the franchise while the new owners will do their best to draw investment from Fortune 500 companies that will generate income. Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer and CEO Steve Koonin will work together with the new ownership group in reaching their long-term plans.

The Features of a Successful Entrepreneur are a lot like a Boxer…

The term entrepreneur means different things to different people. However, it can simply be defined as a person who creates a new business. 

Usually seen as a business frontrunner and innovator of fresh concepts and business processes, an entrepreneur undertakes the initiative of establishing a venture to take advantage of an opportunity, and decides what, how and what volume of a commodity will be produced. 
An entrepreneur not only supplies risk capital, as a risk taker, he also undertakes the monitoring and controlling of the business operations. He is usually a sole proprietor, a partner or the person with the majority stakes in an incorporated venture. 
Entrepreneurs play an integral role in any economic setup. They possess the skills and ingenuity required to take noble first-hand ideas to the market and make the right decisions that will drive the ideas to economic profitability. The potential profits will be the prize earned from the risks taken. 
One economist – Joseph Alois Schumpeter (1883 – 1950) – observed that entrepreneurs do not necessarily derive their motivation from profit, but rather regard it as standard for measuring success. According to Schumpeter, entrepreneurs bear the following features:
• They highly regard self-reliance
• Entrepreneurs strive for distinction through excellence
• They are highly optimistic
• They always favour challenges of moderate risk – neither too easy, nor disastrous
Generally, entrepreneurs need to have an in-depth understanding of their markets. In this regard, they identify the customer needs and tailor their products in line with market demands. It also essential, that they have viable ideas. 
Marc Sparks is a perfect example of a successful entrepreneur. He is also a venture capitalist and currently resides in Dallas, Texas. Popularly known as the entrepreneurs’ entrepreneur, he has successfully owned and run a chain of businesses.
Entrepreneur Marc Sparks is a renowned business expert who has helped over 60 start-ups rise to becoming huge business successes. He commands significant stakes in tech giants like Cardinal Telecom LLC, Blu Jay Wireless, and even Cobalt Real Estate Services LLC. 
As a Philanthropist, he has substantially invested in the Samaritan Inn – homeless shelter. He finds it highly satisfying to give back to the community. He has also built homes in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity. 

Joseph Bismark is a Pioneering Businessman


I read a recently published article on Joseph Bismark’s blog about a man I found quite interesting. I found that man to be a visionary business man who is pioneering a new way of doing business that no one has ever thought of trying. His new method is based on mixing spirituality and business so that a harmony between the two is formed. That man is himself, Joseph Bismark.

Bismark’s story begins when he was an adolescent. When he was young he cast away his life of luxuries and riches so that he could study as a monk in the Philippines. During his time spent studying as a monk Bismark learned much about spirituality and how it applies to all aspects of life. A major thing he learned while studying as a monk was that the values and ideology of spirituality could be combined with business. So upon completing his study Bismark applied what he had learned to the realm of business. Bismark’s profound way of doing business eventually earned him a great amount of success. Even though he had gained so much success he remained grounded. He continued to live a simple and humble life while doing his best to retain his humility.

Bismark openly shares many of the principles he lives by that helped gain him the success that he has. One such principle is to be completely open with your employees. Make sure that they feel that they can trust you and this will lead to better overall morale. Another principle is to have beneficial interactions with your team. The more a leader interacts with their team and gets to know them on a personal level the better a team will work together. Bismark also emphasizes the importance of being dynamic. It is no secret that the business world is constantly changing and Bismark advises against being stuck in your ways as this will surely not lead to success in the realm of business. These principles among the many others Bismark follows give me reason to believe that he is pioneering a new way of doing business.

Remembering Anderson Silva’s Legendary Career

Anderson Silva has had his share of ups and downs throughout his UFC career. However, at one point in time, Anderson Silva was regarded as the greatest fighter of all time.  Brad Reifler recalls that he defended his middleweight championship more times than any other fighter in the world, and MMA fans still idolize him for the incredible feats that he accomplished during his UFC run. Unfortunately, Anderson Silva recently tested positive for steroids in his last MMA fight against Nick Diaz, and UFC fans have since labeled Silva as a cheater.

Anderson Silva is claiming that he did not knowingly take any performance enhancing drugs, but some people believe that Silva took some type of steroid in order to help heal his broken leg. Nonetheless, Anderson Silva is still suspended from the UFC, and his return to the octagon is still questionable. recently published a video that features 10 of Anderson Silva’s greatest knockout victories.

The video shows how dominant Silva truly was in his prime, and he’s had some notable victims over the course of his career. For example, Rich Franklin, Vitor Belfort, and Forrest Griffin have all been knocked out by Anderson Silva in the first round of their fights. Unfortunately, the end of Anderson Silva’s career may overshadow his legendary championship run.

Jose Aldo’ s Legacy Ruined?

Jose Aldo is the true featherweight champion of the world, but it seems that UFC fans around the world are very upset with him. It was recently announced that Jose Aldo was forced to pull out of UFC 189 due to a rib injury. Unfortunately, fans are now questioning whether or not Jose Aldo is afraid of Conor McGregor. However, true MMA fans know that Jose Aldo isn’t afraid of any man.

Yahoo! Sports recently published a story that questions Jose Aldo and his legacy, but I strongly disagree with the article. Pulling out of UFC 189 does not ruin Jose Aldo’s legacy, and here’s why. Jose Aldo has consistently fought and defeated the best fighters in the featherweight and lightweight division. Jose Aldo has not lost a fight in nearly 10 years, and he’s never been defeated in the UFC. Unfortunately, Conor McGregor has fooled the fans into believing that he is better than Jose Aldo. While Conor McGregor is a talented fighter, he has never been tested against an opponent like Jose Aldo.

According to Handy, Jose Aldo has long been regarded as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world, and he will eventually face McGregor in the future. However, Conor McGregor needs to get past Chad Mendes first. If McGregor beats Mendes, Jose Aldo will be waiting for him. Hopefully, Conor McGregor can beat Chad Mendes though.

Why an Interim Belt for UFC 189?

The biggest news in the MMA world of late has been the injury to UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. It was first reported that the champ suffered a broken rib during a sparring match and his fight with Conor McGregor at UFC 189was in jeopardy said Kevin Seawright. The UFC released its own statement that the rib was actually bruised not broken and the fight was still on. The UFC on Wednesday the UFC announced that Jose Aldo was backing out of the fight and that Conor McGregor would now be taking on number one contender Chad Mendes at UF 189. UFC President Dana White also stated that McGregor and Mendes would be fighting for an interim featherweight belt.

So the question on everyone’s mind is why they are fighting for an interim belt simply because Aldo had to back out from the fight because of a rib injury and Dana White was asked that exact question. White basically said that they would be fighting for an interim belt because this is not the first time Aldo has backed out of fight. Since becoming champion in 2001, Aldo has backed out of fights for one reason or another four times. This is the fifth time he has backed out. White also stated that other fighters have suffered the same injury but still got in the ring and fought. It probably did not sit well with white that the UFC spend a lot of money and time promoting this fight and it was all for nothing now that Aldo backed out.

Reebok Drops the Ball with UFC Deal

Some of the biggest talk this year in the UFC had little to do with the latest match-ups or injuries, but rather the news that the UFC and Reebok reached a sponsorship deal that would stop all fighters from wearing any other clothing during fights. Fighters will no longer be able to wear their own sponsors clothing into the ring before fights. Many fighters have aired their disgust with the deal stating that it is taking money out of their pockets and that their fight pay is already low. Needless to say, the deal went through regardless of their thoughts.

The UFC and Reebok had an official unveiling on Tuesday of its new UFC “Fighter Kits. To help promote the event, the UFC hit social media hard as well as sent out emails. The UFC had many of its biggest stars on hand for the event which included all current UFC champions except who was not available due to a rib injury suffered during training for his upcoming bout with Conor McGregor. The fighters will have their choice of fight-night shorts and a jersey to go with it. The public can but the jersey for roughly $100.

Wikipedia wrote that one would think that a company as big as Reebok would be able to spell correctly but apparently not. The company spelled several fighters names wrong including Giblert Melendez and Lyoto Machida. Some fighters were unhappy because the company used their full first name. Reebok sees this as just small errors and are quick fixes.