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September 17, 2014 Updates

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday that while Danny Ferry made a mistake with comments that caused the Atlanta general manager to take a leave of absence while embroiled a racial firestorm, Kerr was supportive of his former teammate. “He’s a man of high character, I can tell you that,” Kerr said. “And I feel for him. He did make a mistake. It was a very poor choice of expression. It’s a difficult issue, but it’s one that needs to be discussed.” Contra Costa Times

Kerr played alongside Ferry for three seasons in Cleveland and two seasons in San Antonio, winning a championship together with the Spurs in 2003. Both went on to become general managers. “All I can say is with my own relationship with Danny, and I know I’ve got a lot of teammates from all over from San Antonio, Cleveland — it doesn’t matter whether they’re black or white or what race or religion — everybody who knows Danny knows that he’s a good person,” Kerr said. “And it’s just a difficult time for him, and he made a mistake, so hopefully he can get through it. But he’s got our support. It’s about all you can do.” Contra Costa Times

Estudiantes announced the signing of James Nunnally. The player spent last season with Texas Legends and Bakersfield Jam of D-League. Nunnally has also played in the NBA with 76ers and Hawks averaging 3.4 points per game in 13 contests. Sportando

Within the past year, Atlanta Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. approached fellow co-owner Bruce Levenson about selling the franchise, two people familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. Levenson wasn't interested in selling but is going to do that now, and with NBA now in a seller's market, Gearon will be in position to cash in on his investment — despite financials losses in the past decade. Gearon understands that if he wants to capitalize, he needs to sell more than just his stake. The Hawks are worth more when a majority of the team is sold. So for the second time in the past few months, an ownership group mired in a controversy over the use of racial language could stand to make a significant amount of money selling the team. In the case of the Hawks, how they got here is a decade of poor judgment, mismanagement and a power play among owners. USA Today Sports

Ferry wasn't fired but was issued a significant fine, two people told USA TODAY Sports, but even with that punishment and two apologetic statements, Ferry announced late last week he was taking an indefinite leave of absence. Ferry made a serious mistake when he uttered racially insensitive comments about Deng, even if they were from a report provided a former front-office executive from another team. In interviews with multiple people who have ties to Levenson, Gearon and Ferry, an unflattering depiction of Hawks management, including ownership, has emerged. USA Today Sports

Gearon recorded the nearly hour-long call but only a brief snippet of the audio has been made available, and there is no full transcript of the call, three people familiar with those details told USA TODAY Sports. The league requested a full transcript, but one was not provided. Ferry's comments sparked the independent review, and the aftermath has rattled the franchise. Levenson is on his way out and Ferry is on indefinite leave. Turns out, Gearon might be getting two wishes. Also in Gearon's letter to Levenson, he wrote, "The racial diversity of our management team has changed for the worse since Ferry took over." USA Today Sports

The mayor has already heard from plenty of potential buyers for the Atlanta Hawks. And the city is ready to kick in a hefty sum to make the deal happen. Flanked by Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins and other city leaders, Mayor Kasim Reed said Tuesday he expects the sale of the team to move briskly after racially charged comments by owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry. "I have had conversations with no less than six prospective buyers," Reed said during a City Hall news conference. "All six of those prospective buyers will have to go through a process to be vetted by the NBA. That process is going to occur very quickly." USA Today Sports

Reed said he plans to meet with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Sept. 26 in New York to discuss the sale of the Hawks. According to the mayor, the league is already lining up an investment bank to look into the finances of any potential buyer. "I think we're going to end up in a superior position, based on everything we know today, than we were before," Reed said. He didn't identify the prospective buyers, but whoever steps in would apparently have majority ownership. Levenson owns 24 percent of the team, and his Washington partner, Ed Peskowitz, has also agreed to sell his share, meaning that 50.1 percent of the team is now available, Reed said. USA Today Sports

In addition, Reed said the city will likely be willing to offer concessions to any new owner to ensure the Hawks commit to remaining in Atlanta for another 30 years. He said there could be as much as $150 million available after the city sells Turner Field, the current home of the Braves, though the mayor said that process has been held up by the baseball team's refusal to negotiate terms for its departure. USA Today Sports

September 16, 2014 Updates
September 15, 2014 Updates

The National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League, the official minor league of the NBA, today announced the full list of affiliations between NBA and NBA D-League teams for the 2014-15 season, including an all-time high 17 single-affiliation partnerships. The Detroit Pistons (Grand Rapids Drive), Memphis Grizzlies (Iowa Energy), New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks), Orlando Magic (Erie BayHawks), Phoenix Suns (Bakersfield Jam) and Utah Jazz (Idaho Stampede) all entered into single affiliation relationships with their NBA D-League affiliate during the offseason. Additionally, the NBA D-League has implemented a new flexible assignment system which will enable the 13 independent NBA teams to continue to assign players to the NBA D-League for development or rehabilitation. NBA.com

For the 10th consecutive season, each singly-affiliated NBA team will have one NBA D-League team to which it may assign its players. The Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the lone independent NBA D-League Team, will be affiliated with the remaining 13 NBA teams (Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards). To accommodate assignments to Fort Wayne, a flexible assignment system will be utilized when an independent NBA team assigns a player at a time when the Mad Ants already have either the maximum of four NBA players on assignment or two assigned players at the position of the NBA player who is being assigned. In either event, the NBA D-League will identify to the assigning NBA team any singly-affiliated NBA D-League team that is willing to accept the assigned player, and the independent NBA team assigning the player will choose a team from among those teams to assign the player. If no singly-affiliated NBA D-League team is willing to accept the assigned player, he will be assigned to one of the non-NBA-owned single affiliate teams pursuant to a lottery. NBA.com

September 14, 2014 Updates

Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony believes future NBA free agents will be hesitant to sign with the Atlanta Hawks in light of statements made by general manager Danny Ferry. "[There] ain't nobody [who] would want to go there," Anthony said Saturday at the Citi Carmelo Anthony Basketball camp in Manhattan. "At the end of the day, Atlanta, I think it puts Atlanta back even further now, from that standpoint. ESPN.com

Anthony, who tested free agency over the summer and ultimately re-signed with the Knicks, said players "wouldn't look at" Atlanta as a potential destination. "As a player, as an athlete, we're looking for a job, we're trying to find a place where we can move our family, we can make our family comfortable, where we can be comfortable in a comfortable environment," Anthony said. "But those comments right there, we would never look at [playing there]. "I'm speaking on behalf of all athletes. We would never look at a situation like that, I don't care what it is." ESPN.com

September 13, 2014 Updates

Carmelo Anthony didn’t mince his words about the ongoing Atlanta Hawks racism controversy Saturday morning, slamming the franchise for the comments that were uncovered this week and saying it will impact the way free agents look at the franchise now and moving forward. “[There] ain’t nobody [who] would want to go there,” Anthony said at the Citi Carmelo Anthony Basketball ProCamp at Baruch College Saturday morning. “At the end of the day, Atlanta … I think it puts Atlanta back even further now, from that standpoint.” New York Post

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