Danny Ferry Rumors

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Danny Ferry
Danny Ferry
Position: None
Born: 10/17/66
Height: 6-10 / 2.08
Weight:235 lbs. / 106.6 kg.
Alston & Bird partner Bernard Taylor said in the letter, dated Friday, that the review of more than 24,000 documents and 19 interviews provided no evidence of “negative bias toward Mr. Deng, his race or his country of origin.” Foreman’s letter, also dated Friday, said Ferry was not the cause of the controversy. “At the heart of this dispute was an unfortunate disagreement amongst owners,” Foreman said.
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The buyout of Ferry’s contract will be the responsibility of the old ownership group. Ferry had two years remaining on the six-year, $18 million contract he signed in 2012. Ferry will receive substantially more than was due in the final two years of the deal. The process of buying out Ferry began on Wednesday when ownership members received notice of the meeting on Friday to discuss the action. Negotiations were ongoing until a deal was reached and signed by Ferry in the early morning hours Friday. The deal was approved by ownership at the 9 a.m. call hours later with little opposition as controlling owner Bruce Levenson and his Washington, D.C.-based partners owning 50.1 percent of the business.
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There has been a belief within the Hawks’ organization for several months that the team’s general manager is not going to be brought back. The thinking is that coach Mike Budenholzer (expected to get a new contract with a raise and more autonomy) and assistant general manager Wes Wilcox likely will be at the top of the basketball operations department, at least for the next year. At this point, there are three scenarios for Ferry, but only two plausible ones: Ferry resigns: This is the favorite. It could happen any day. The Hawks likely would agree to pay off the balance of Ferry’s contract and it would allow him to make an exit statement along the lines of, “I’m proud of the work I did here but I feel it’s the best for all parties to move on.” Ferry is fired: It doesn’t serve anybody to have this thing end ugly, least of all Ferry, who wants to get another job (and will). But he has been resistant to leaving, loves living in Atlanta and it may come to this. Ferry is kept: Think “PowerBall” odds.
At this point, there are three scenarios for Ferry, but only two plausible ones: • Ferry resigns: This is the favorite. It could happen any day. The Hawks likely would agree to pay off the balance of Ferry’s contract and it would allow him to make an exit statement along the lines of, “I’m proud of the work I did here but I feel it’s the best for all parties to move on.” • Ferry is fired: It doesn’t serve anybody to have this thing end ugly, least of all Ferry, who wants to get another job (and will). But he has been resistant to leaving, loves living in Atlanta and it may come to this.
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You have to scan down to third place for the biggest statement in the voting. Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer. After GM Danny Ferry was placed on indefinite leave in the wake of inappropriate racial comments he made on a conference call about prospective free agents, Budenholzer was thrust into two roles he’d never done before. A first-year head coach, Budenholzer also had to take over the de facto GM duties. That was no doubt reflected in some of the four first-place and five second-place votes, plus one vote for third, that Budenholzer received. But something else was at work here. As one exec told me, “Bud had nothing to do with constructing the team.” Thus, some of those votes also were a reflection of things that were done before Budenholzer even got to Atlanta. Things that were done by Ferry. Indeed, multiple GMs told CBSSports.com Friday that at least some of the votes cast for Budenholzer – the only official entrant for the Hawks in the executive of the year voting – were essentially proxy votes for Ferry.
Koonin, the team’s chief executive officer, declined a recent interview request to discuss Ferry’s status. Many of the players, meanwhile, have expressed their support for Ferry. Budenholzer, in a brief interview last week, credited much of the team’s success to Ferry, whom he described as a close friend. Budenholzer said he had been in regular contact with Ferry. “I think it’s probably important to both of us that those conversations are somewhat private,” Budenholzer said. “It’s safe to say that we talk about everything.”
In the weeks that followed, Hill said, Ferry met with faculty members at Spelman College and Morehouse College, two historically black universities in Atlanta. In December, Ferry and his oldest daughter, Hannah, traveled to Senegal, where they were accompanied by Amadou Gallo Fall, an executive with N.B.A. Africa, Hall said. Ferry was also a regular at high school and college basketball games over the winter. Last month, after watching one of his daughters swim at a meet in Orlando, Fla., he drove to Jacksonville to join Walton, the Harvard professor, for the Crimson’s first-round game in the N.C.A.A. tournament. “I’ve been trying to encourage him and tell him, ‘If you come back from this’ — and I definitely think he should — ‘you have the opportunity to be a leader, to both lead by example and to take this conversation where it needs to go,’ ” said Walton, who grew up in Atlanta and attended Morehouse.
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Embry added: “I’ve known racism. I’ve known it quite well. And I told Danny that this is all really a shame because we need more people like him in the league.” Ferry, who lives with his wife and five children in Atlanta, has been spending more time with his family, friends and acquaintances. But far from being reclusive, he has embarked on something that loosely resembles a sabbatical for personal growth, meeting with ministers, professors and community leaders.
With Ferry on an indefinite leave of absence, Budenholzer was the Hawks nomination for the NBA’s Executive of the Year award the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Saturday. Budenholzer was named head of basketball operations in September. “Anyone who has followed the Hawks for the last two or three years knows that Danny Ferry is the executive who is most responsible for the makeup of our team,” Budenholzer said Sunday before the Hawks played the Wizards. “Danny is responsible for me being here. Our team is in a good place. I’m very grateful to work with such good players and with such a great staff.”
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Q: Does Danny Ferry’s name come up in the locker room much? Kent Bazemore: Yeah, you know, he’s definitely a huge part of this year’s success. It was unfortunate what happened, but that doesn’t change the way I feel about Mr. Ferry. I flew into Atlanta this summer and had lunch with him. And he’s a great guy. We sat there, we laughed, we joked. He has a huge group of friends, believe it or not, in the NBA. So I look at it as a business. He’s trying to do his best for his organization, and he’s done a great job of getting the right guys in and creating a team that’s number one in the East and almost the best team in the NBA right now, recordwise. He could win the GM award. That tenure down in San Antonio, he was around a lot of great guys. But he was able to go to an entirely different organization and kind of plant the same roots. I’m definitely honored to be a part of that tree. I can actually say that I played under one of the best coaching trees and organizations in basketball.
“I’m sure it’s difficult for him,” Horford said. “He assembled all these pieces together, and this was kind of his vision. Not even being here, but all season not being able to be around has been hard.” Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson, who made racially offensive comments about his fans in an email two years ago, is in the process of selling his controlling interest in the team. Levenson’s email came to light in September.
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Given a chance to support Ferry this weekend, Horford deferred to the Hawks’ future ownership group. Asked directly by the Miami Herald if he thought Ferry should be forgiven for his racially charged comments and reinstated as general manager, Horford said, “I don’t know.” “Whichever ownership comes in, they’re going to have to figure those things out and see if he’s the best fit,” said Horford, who won back-to-back NCAA championships at the University of Florida. “Obviously, [Ferry] has laid in some really good groundwork with us, and part of the success that we’re having is because of him.”