Who Is… “The Balkan?”

The ownership situation of the Atlanta Thrashers, Hawks, and Philips Arena is the subject of more rumors and speculation that you can shake a stick at. Everyone with a net worth of half a billion bucks or more who ever went to a NBA/NHL game in their lifetime are being tossed out there as a potential owner. This is partially because the fans really want Atlanta Spirit to sell the team to someone with some clout, and partially because fans just want the Atlanta Spirit out of having anything to do with either team or the arena. Mismanagement of assets has led to a sub-par product on both ice and court, and fans deserve someone who will care about their investment and not treat it like a plaything to be tossed in a toy box when the shiny wears off.

Atlanta radio broadcaster John Kincade of 680 The Fan has been crowing for quite some time regarding a mystery party interested in all three entities as a package deal. He’s refused to come right out and say anything, and I understand why. Partially he hasn’t spoken probably because as the in-arena guy for the Thrashers as well as a participant on the postgame show and television broadcasts, Atlanta Spirit signs one of his paychecks. I would most certainly not want to anger one of my employers.

Also, he is a reporter acting possibly on condition of confidentiality. If the prospective buyer doesn’t want a media circus, but still wants attention, a “who is the Balkan?” Twitter campaign is a damn good way of doing it. Not only has this tweet from Kincade been re-tweeted by a billion people, folks are using his #thebalkan hashtag to discuss ownership possibilities.

Coupled with the fact that the “plan is in motion” is the fact that Kincade has been dropping hints, apparently per request of this mystery suitor. Kincade tweeted on March 17th that the Balkan is a graduate of a Big Ten university. Hm. That only narrows the field down to approximately a billion people. Obviously when you factor in that this prospective owner is probably exceedingly rich, that cuts the number down quite a bit.

Next stop, Wikipedia. Wikipedia lists a comprehensive list of notable alumni of every university. I poked around all the lists, and a name popped out at me: Anson Carter, the former hockey player who has been rumored to be in talks as part of a group to buy at the very least the Thrashers. There he was, on one of the pages for a Big Ten school. With very wealthy individuals who could afford to bankroll the entire thing.

I’m not going to reveal who I believe The Balkan is, because I don’t want to step on John Kincade’s toes with the release of this info. Nor do I want to say anything and spoil any sort of non-disclosure agreement this individual, man or woman, has with Kincade or the Atlanta Spirit Group. That would be exceedingly inappropriate of me as a blogger – like hell I’m getting involved with business transactions between billionaires. Pfft. The point of this post is just to prove that Google, Wikipedia, and some dot-connecting can come in handy for something.

And best of luck to The Balkan. Which, to my knowledge, is a General Hospital nickname that Kincade came up with. When I searched for “the Balkan” on Google, several references to GH came up. Wait a second… General Hospital? Could it be?


About Laura Astorian

Laura Astorian is the head editor for the SB Nation blog St. Louis Game Time and has been a Blues fan from childhood. She promises that any anti-Blackhawks bias will be left at the door. Maybe.