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Hawks hire Rick Sund as GM. New changes to Hawks?
Quote:The Atlanta Hawks today named Rick Sund as the team's General Manager, according to Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon. Sund has more than 30 years of NBA experience, including stints with the Seattle Sonics, Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks and Milwaukee Bucks.

"Rick has an enormous amount of experience, and an outstanding reputation around the league," Gearon said. "During this process, as we spoke with basketball people that we respect around the NBA, everyone had glowing things to say about Rick and his work. Our objective was to add an individual who would help us take the momentum we gained last season, and move to the next level. We feel we've done that, and we're thrilled to add someone of Rick's caliber to our franchise."

"I'm very excited and impressed with what the Hawks have currently developed," said Sund, from the Orlando NBA Pre-Draft Camp, "and I look forward to continuing that process. They captivated the attention of fans locally and nationally with their play during the playoffs, and I too, was impressed with the effort they displayed throughout that series (vs. Boston).

"We have a great nucleus of players, and while we have some work ahead of us, there's tremendous potential and continued growth with the guys on this roster. I look forward to getting more familiar with the coaching staff and players as we look to build on the success this franchise has enjoyed this postseason."

Formerly the General Manager of the Seattle Sonics from 2001-07, Sund and the Sonics were the inaugural champions of the Northwest Division in 2004-05, and the team reached the postseason twice during his tenure.

Prior to that, he served in several different roles with the Dallas Mavericks from 1979-94, finishing up as Vice President of Basketball Operations. At the start of his tenure, he helped the expansion Mavericks develop their inaugural season roster as the Director of Player Personnel. Selected by then-GM Norm Sonju, Sund - at the age of 28 - became the youngest person in league history to hold that position.

One of the NBA's most-respected front office executives, Sund presided over a Mavericks team that won a franchise-record 55 games and took home the Midwest Division title in 1986-87. Dallas matched or improved their record in each of the franchise's first eight seasons, reaching the playoffs on six occasions and making it to the Western Conference Finals in 1988.

In 1994, he spent one season as a consultant for the Sonics during Wally Walker's first season as GM, managing the Sonics' college scouting program and assisted Walker with personnel decisions.

Sund joined the Pistons as Vice President of Player Personnel in the summer of 1995, assuming the title of Executive VP and General Manager of Basketball Operations a year later. The Pistons, winners of 100 games in his first two seasons, participated in the playoffs four times during his Detroit years, where he spent six seasons (1995-2001). He assisted in developing the Pistons in the areas of roster and player development, trades, contract negotiations, player drafts, free-agent acquisitions and other team operations.

Sund began his career in Milwaukee, spending five years with the Bucks after graduating with a master's degree in sports administration from Ohio University in 1974.

He was a two-sport athlete at Northwestern University, where he was twice named academic All-Big Ten on the basketball squad (he was a 6-4 guard for the Wildcats), while also seeing action as a tight end and wide receiver on the football team. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Northwestern.

Sund is currently in Orlando serving as one of the co-chairman of the NBA's Pre-Draft camp. He is also serves on the board of the directors for the Special Olympics for the state of Washington, and the advisory board of the University of Oregon's business school's Warsaw Sports Marketing and Management Division.

Will Sund take them further into the playoffs? What will he do with head coach Mike Woodson?
[Image: aug282007_kobe.jpg]

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