HoopsHype Danny Ferry rumors

September 11, 2014 Updates

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

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

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

September 9, 2014 Updates

Luol Deng: "I'm proud to say I actually have a lot of African in me, not just "a little". For my entire life, my identity has been a source of pride and strength. Among my family and friends, in my country of South Sudan and across the broader continent of Africa, I can think of no greater privilege than to do what I love for a living while also representing my heritage on the highest stage. Unfortunately, the comment about my heritage was not made with the same respect and appreciation. Chicago Tribune

"I've observed Danny Ferry and his family for many years and I can say Danny Ferry is not a racist," said Wayne Embry, who was the NBA's first African-American general manager with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971. "I don't know all the circumstances, but in the capacity of a president or general manager, you have to do your due diligence on players. It is a responsible way to act." ESPN.com

"I know Danny very well and we've always had high-quality interactions," said player agent Bill Duffy, who represents more than 30 clients including Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, Joakim Noah and Andrew Wiggins. "He's been involved in pro basketball his entire life and I've been shown nothing but respect in my dealings with him. He's always been of good character and I have admired him over the years." ESPN.com

Ironically, according to the source, Ferry was a strong advocate of signing Deng, who would up signing a two-year deal with the Heat. “He wanted to pay him $40 million,” the source said. Lawyers conducting the investigation looked at more than 24,000 pieces of internal communications over the last few years. None of Ferry’s e-mails or other communications raised any red flags, according to the source. NBA.com

Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has no immediate plans to resign following racist comments he claims to have read during a conference call regarding potential free agent Luol Deng in June. Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. wrote a letter to majority owner Bruce Levenson calling for him to ask for Ferry’s resignation or fire him for cause if he refused several days after the conference call with ownership and management. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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