Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins has been named as Special Advisor to CEO Steve Koonin, the team announced Monday. He was signed to a long-term contract and will continue in his role as Vice President of Basketball.
The Hawks also officially announced that a statue of Wilkins will be erected at Philips Arena. The news was previously revealed during a Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed press conference earlier this month.
“There is no player more deserving of such an honor than Dominique for his continued commitment to the Hawks and the City of Atlanta,” Koonin said in a statement. “Beyond his amazing play on the court during his Hall-of-Fame career, he has been an ambassador for this franchise and the city for three decades. For all he has accomplished and continues to do for the Hawks franchise and the City of Atlanta, we are proud to bestow this permanent recognition of his legacy.”
The statue will be unveiled on March 5 as part of the 15th anniversary of Philips Arena.
The Hawks have put an emphasis on building diversity in light on the controversy that recently rocked the franchise. Racially inflammatory comments have led to controlling owner Bruce Levenson and his Washington partners agreeing to sell their interest in the game and general manager Danny Ferry on an indefinite leave of absence.
“Steve Koonin and I are going to be doing a lot of things together on the business side as well as basketball,” Wilkins said during the team’s media day. “For me, I’m excited about it because, to me, the most important thing is how we continue to build our brand in light of some of the things that have happened of late. Having that diverse attitude, atmosphere, that we are accustomed to having, we just can’t let anything taint that.
Wilkins unveiled the prototype of the statue, created by sculptor Brian Hanlon, this month with a pose of him about to deliver one of the many dunks that earned him the nickname “The Human Highlight Reel.”
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