HoopsHype Luol Deng 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

September 12, 2014 Updates

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

The following statement was released by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry: "No words can adequately describe my remorse for the hurt that I have caused many people through the statements I repeated, most importantly Luol Deng. Luol is a good man who I have known for many years and he has done a tremendous amount of good for his country and around the world. I apologize to Luol and I apologize to all that I have offended. As I have said, while these were not my words, I deeply regret repeating them." NBA.com

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB Channel 2 have jointly obtained the background report on Luol Deng read by general manager Danny Ferry that has become the center of controversy. Part of the five-page report, with portions redacted, contains separate sections of different personnel. The one in question reads: “He is a good guy on the cover but he is 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. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

September 11, 2014 Updates

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

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