HoopsHype Danny Ferry rumors

September 13, 2014 Updates

Because of the return of infighting in the Hawks' multi-tiered ownership group, the leaks did not stop with the "African" comment. Audio later was released to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution with additional Ferry comments about Deng on that conference call with the team's owners, which also apparently were forwarded from other scouting reports: "He can come out and be an unnamed source for a story and two weeks later come out and say, 'That was absolutely not me. I can't believe someone said that.' But talking to reporters, you know it's him. He could be a lawyer in the locker room when the coach is not around. But when the coach is around, could be the greatest guy in the world." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The scout said he does not expect Deng's image to take a hit, certainly a concern for the forward, with Deng in position to become a free agent next summer due to the opt-out clause in his contract. "All I know is one of their coaches was just ecstatic about him, coaching him," the scout said of a member of the Chicago Bulls' staff. "And I have to assume that's not just because of his ability. The coaching staff was big on him and I think that's more than just the fact that he was good player. I haven't heard anything negative. All I've heard is positive from their coaching staff." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

So in describing what kind of investment Deng would be for the Hawks, Ferry didn't say a word about his wing defense or his offensive rebounding, or even what kind of fit he would be with the various talents on the roster or with the coaching staff. Instead, his scouting report -- prepared from multiple sources, including former teammates and yes, ballboys, according to a league source -- read more like a psychological profile filled with loosely verified gossip and innuendo. In this way, in the tabloid culture of the NBA and pro sports in general, it was no different than any other scouting report or, frankly, most of the sports coverage you read or watch on TV. CBSSports.com

Q. What is your reaction to everything that has happened? Korver: My thoughts are, when I got traded to the Hawks, I didn’t want to come here because all I knew was what I had heard, about bad culture and no fans and no excitement in the city. So I didn’t want to come to Atlanta. At all. I was bummed to leave Chicago. But by the next summer, I chose to re-sign and come back to Atlanta. After a year of watching what Danny (Ferry) was doing and the people he was bringing in. Everything I saw, was so attractive to me and I really believed in it. I believed that he was going to turn things around. I saw that Atlanta was an incredible city, and that there was so much potential here to both raise my family and help build a great basketball culture. I had some opportunities to go to places that were already established and played really good basketball but I wanted to come back here and be a part of building this. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Korver: I think in all this, I’m hopeful that when the dust settles, it keeps on going. I really do believe in what has gone on in the two years that I have been here. I think anyone who knows the game and has watched the transformation would agree with me. But it’s just sad what’s all going on. That all this has happened has really bummed me out. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In the five-page transcript obtained by the Atlanta news outlets Friday, the names of the personnel who wrote separate scouting reports on Deng, as well as portions of the reports, were redacted. The main statement at the center of the controversy is in one of the reports — evidently one obtained from the Cleveland Cavaliers, one of Deng’s former teams — and reads: “He’s a good guy on the cover but he’s an African. He has a little two-step in him = says what you want to hear but behind closed doors he could be killing you. Con isn’t bad but it’s there. African-like store front looks great but there’s a black market section in the back.” NBA.com

September 12, 2014 Updates

Statement of NBPA Acting Executive Director Ron Klempner Regarding the Atlanta Hawks: “We’ve had continuing discussions with the league office about the incidents of disturbing statements attributed to representatives of the Atlanta Hawks’ franchise. We recognize that there is an ongoing investigation regarding the circumstances, and we will continue to monitor these events and take any action we deem appropriate." NBPA.org

Q. You were teammates with Luol Deng. Would you care to comment about what was said about him? Have you reached out to him? Kyle Korver: "Yeah we did speak. Luol is such a good guy. And he’s been through so much in life that I don’t really think this has really even phased him. He told me that he didn’t think that Danny or anyone with the Hawks was racist. He said he was shocked when he heard what was said, but that sometimes things just slip out. It was pretty amazing, really. He just wants everything to move on. He wants to get back to basketball." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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