The Hawks have won their first three games of the season. For a team that's projected to go 43-39 in wagering circles after some polarizing off-season decisions, it's a nice way to start. Whether that's an indication of the direction this team is going remains to be seen but one thing is certain: Jesse Itzler isn't going to "settle," which is something that Atlanta's sports teams often are accused of.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Itzler, even as a minority owner but an Atlanta resident, evolve into one of the main faces of the organization. Majority owner Tony Ressler lives in Los Angeles and for now shows a preference to stay in the background. Grant Hill, another part-owner and the most well-known partner because of his playing career, curiously also has chosen not to take on a major role in basketball operations. In Part I of an interview on the "We Never Played The Game" podcast, Itzler talked about his unusual background, which started as a rap artist in the 1990s (under the pseudonym Jesse Jaymes).
I n Part II, which is linked here, Itzler makes it clear how driven he is as a sports owner.
"I want a (bleepin') parade," he said.
Yes. He said that. Except he didn't say, bleepin'.
Itzler said sports teams, like companies need "a whole team of step-on-the-gas people to be successful," and it became clear in the interview that ownership's evaulation of the Hawks -- players, front office and ownership structure -- is continuing.
How driven is Itzler?
"I take a freezing cold shower to start every day and when I can’t take it any more I count 20 Mississippi's. Then I literally walk out of the shower and say, 'Let's go.'"
Hope you enjoy Part II of the interview. To subscribe and listen to all previous episodes, go to the iTunes show page.
Subscribe to the, “We Never Played The Game” podcast with Jeff Schultz and WSB's Zach Klein. All episodes can be downloaded and heard on iTunes or here via WSBRadio.com. New episodes every Monday and Thursday.
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