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Atlanta Hawks VIDEOS

September 11, 2014 Updates

"Race does come up occasionally when you're talking about 'big, slow white guys' — but again, is that racist? Or does it reflect reality that a lot of big white guys are in fact slow? When the 'slow white guy' term is used, I don't think anybody is offended, white or black. USA Today Sports

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has obtained the audio recording of the Hawks conference call that is at the center of the current firestorm that has engulfed the organization. The June 6 call features general manager Danny Ferry speaking about potential free-agent targets. During the call with ownership and management, Ferry discusses Luol Deng and uses a racial comment. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Masai Ujiri: I have no idea what is happening in the Atlanta Hawks organization, but I do know how the scouting world works. We all have different ways of sharing information about players and different vocabularies to do so. It crossed a line here. That said, we are all human. We are all vulnerable. We all make mistakes. You discover a person’s true character in their ability to learn from and then move on from those mistakes. One of the truly important things we must learn is how to forgive. Danny’s mistake will remain tied to him for a long time. What he’s said can’t be unsaid, but we must measure his heart. If he has made an honest, isolated error, we should forgive and move on. Toronto Globe & Mail

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver does not believe that Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry should be fired for his racially charged remarks about former free agent Luol Deng, he told USA TODAY Sports Wednesday. Silver, who just arrived in Barcelona for FIBA World Cup, explained in detail how Ferry's respectable track record and the reality that he was relaying information from a scouting report in his June conference call with owners and basketball operations staffers factor into his decision. "The discipline of a team employee is typically determined by the team, and in this case the Hawks hired a prestigious Atlanta law firm to investigate the circumstances of Danny Ferry's clearly inappropriate and unacceptable remarks," Silver said. "In my view, those comments, taken alone, do not merit his losing his job. USA Today Sports

September 10, 2014 Updates

A scheduled meeting between Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and Atlanta civil rights leaders has been cancelled, leading one of the leaders to say his community was greatly offended. The Rev. Markel Hutchins announced Wednesday's meeting was called off "at the last minute." He later said he received a call from Hawks spokesman Garin Narain on Tuesday night asking that it be postponed. Hutchins said he needed to hear that request directly from Koonin. USA Today Sports

The call proceeded with Ferry hustling through free agent names, a list that included Carmelo Anthony: "He can shoot the [expletive] out of it, but he screws you up in other ways," Ferry said, according to a transcript obtained by Yahoo Sports. Ferry would go on to say of Anthony: "So is he really worth the 20 million dollars? … I would argue if he plays the right way, absolutely." The Hawks never had a chance to get Anthony, but free agent Luol Deng had been a distinct possibility. Eventually, the Hawks made two offers to Deng – two years, $20 million, or one year, $10 million – league sources told Yahoo Sports. Around the discussions between the Hawks and Deng, several sources told Yahoo that within the basketball operations, Ferry was Atlanta's biggest proponent to sign Deng. Yahoo! Sports

Ferry never did persuade Deng to take the offer, and yet still he'll forever be connected to him. Once he started talking on the call about Deng, it wasn't long before Ferry marched himself directly into a foolish, ignorant riff of African stereotypes. On and on, Ferry started about how Deng "has got some African in him" and proceeded to make a comparison to Africans with phony facades selling counterfeit goods. As soon as those words left Ferry's mouth on the call, Gearon responded in a dramatic way in the background of the tape recording, according to a partial transcript of the call obtained by Yahoo Sports. "Oh my God, that comment sounds like Sterling on TMZ," Gearon said. Yahoo! Sports

Another reason the Hawks won't sell for as much: Atlanta is only about half the market size of Los Angeles. However, there are reasons the Hawks are more attractive than two other teams -- the Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks -- that sold earlier this year for $550 million each. Patrick Rishe, a professor of sports business at Webster University, estimates the Hawks will go for more than $700 million, though probably less than $1 billion. He said the Philips Arena in Atlanta is a much newer and better facility than those in Sacramento and Milwaukee. CNN.com

One NBA scout who spoke with The Times on Tuesday said the language Ferry repeated during his call would probably prompt others to ensure they do not include potentially objectionable phrases in their reports on players. “I’ve never seen comments like these within our group,” the scout said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss his team’s business practices, “but anything you write, you have to do so with the thought that this could all become public. We pride ourselves with confidentiality, but the way things are these days, you kind of have to assume that things can get out.” Los Angeles Times

Patrick Rishe, a professor of sports business at Webster University, estimates the Hawks will go for more than $700 million, though probably less than $1 billion. He said the Philips Arena in Atlanta is a much newer and better facility than those in Sacramento and Milwaukee. Rishe also thinks that if the new owners can't solve the team's attendance problem before the current lease expires in 2018, the Hawks could move to an open market such as Seattle, Las Vegas or Kansas City -- although all of those are significantly smaller than Atlanta. Click On Detroit

TMZ Sports has learned NBA legend Dominique Wilkins is actively trying to become the next owner of the Atlanta Hawks. Multiple NBA sources tell us ... Dominique is "extremely interested" in becoming the next owner of the Hawks -- and has already been pre-approved for ownership by the NBA. TMZ.com

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN HAWKS HISTORY

While arguably the most popular, Dominique Wilkins is not the best player in franchise history.

   

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