HoopsHype Wayne Embry rumors

September 11, 2014 Updates
September 9, 2014 Updates

"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

May 24, 2014 Updates
May 16, 2014 Updates
March 6, 2014 Updates
November 24, 2013 Updates

Former Cavaliers general manager Wayne Embry is 76 -- one year older than Oscar Robertson, his former roommate, who turns 75 today, "Pound for pound, inch for inch, I think Oscar was the greatest player of all time," Embry has told anyone who asks for years. So Robertson deserves to be included in the GOAT discussion along with Jordan and James, Embry was asked. "I think it's the others who should be included in the discussion,'' he said, emphatically. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 66, agrees. According to an article by Steve Aschburner on NBA.com, Abdul-Jabbar, who won an NBA title with Robertson in Milwaukee in 1971, recently weighed in on the subject, telling ESPN Radio, "LeBron is awesome, MJ was awesome, but I think Oscar Robertson would have kicked them both in the behind.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

May 20, 2013 Updates

According to multiple NBA sources, Colangelo is about to be moved into an unspecified corporate role with MLSE, leaving his Raptors post as president and general manager’s open. The top — and most successful — name being kicked around is Ujiri, named the league’s executive of the year earlier this month by other league execs. Ujiri has close ties to the Raptors, having worked for three years in Toronto as the director of global scouting and assistant GM. His close allegiance to Colangelo and senior advisor Wayne Embry will be a factor, however, in any decision on his suitability. Toronto Star

February 14, 2012 Updates

Embry said he never felt any ill effects from his status as "the black GM" in his pioneer days on the job. He wouldn't even admit to suspicions that this rival or that team might have been reluctant to deal with him, or over- or under-estimated him, because of his race. "I don't know what people think when I'm not around. But I never saw it," he said. "From the commissioner's office right on down, I was accepted and well-respected. ... One thing that really helped with my transition into the job was that Pete Newell [of the Lakers] and some of the other veteran GMs really welcomed me and respected my position. I don't think it mattered with them one way or the other." NBA.com

That's one reason Embry noticed, and cringed, during the NBA lockout when first sportscaster Bryant Gumble, then NBPA attorney Jeffrey Kessler used "plantation" imagery in talking about the labor dispute and commissioner David Stern. "I would always defend David on that," Embry said. "David has been very progressive. There's been a conscious effort on the part of the league, institutionally, because you see the progress that's been made. There are still individuals who still have a few issues, but I'll let that be their problem. As far as an institution, the NBA has been far -- well, not far now, the others are catching up -- but at the forefront." Embry's grade for the NBA in race relations, across his 54 years in it? "An 'A.' " NBA.com

October 16, 2011 Updates

Embry, a consultant for the Toronto Raptors, is prohibited from discussing any lockout. But in his book, "The Inside Game: Race, Power and Politics in the NBA," he wrote about 1998-99 season: "Whatever teams were in the best shape would definitely have an advantage in the short schedule. We were not one of them. We were all disappointed in Shawn's physical condition. With the money we were paying him, we had every reason to expect him to stay in shape. It was not as if he could not afford to hire people to help him do that. "The Cleveland Clinic nutritionist put him on a diet, but Shawn did not have the discipline to adhere to it. We even offered to have a chef go to his house and prepare meals for him. ... I told Shawn the same thing I told Mel Turpin years ago, 'I don't want anyone playing for me that weighs more than me.' That did not work either." Cleveland Plain Dealer

May 17, 2011 Updates

If the Raptors and Colangelo can’t reach an agreement, the franchise has its backup plan. As ESPN.com first reported, Wayne Embry, the 73-year-old advisor, would be the likely candidate to be named interim GM. In that event Embry, who has refused comment on the matter, would preside over Toronto’s first-round pick in the June draft. Toronto Star

May 14, 2011 Updates

Former Bucks general manager Wayne Embry, who was in the audience Friday, said he was very moved by watching the film and thinking of the impact those players and Rens founder Bobby Douglas had on his own career. "This is really quite emotional for me and quite compelling," Embry said. And Abdul-Jabbar said making the film was an educational experience for him, even though he grew up in Harlem. "I had never heard of them; I had only heard of the Globetrotters," Abdul-Jabbar said of the Rens. "It was interesting. A lot of them had touched my life without me knowing about it. "John Isaacs (former Rens player who died at age 93 in 2009 but spoke eloquently in the film) and other people who were associated with the Rens used to come see me play when I was in high school. I caught up to all of this later in life, late in my professional basketball career. "After I stopped playing professional basketball, I read about them in depth and wanted to do this, basically to pay homage to my community. I was born and raised in Harlem, and I wanted people to know about it." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

April 22, 2011 Updates
April 21, 2011 Updates

Colangelo continues to prepare for the draft and free agency, which may not actually happen until after a lockout rewrites many of the rules; ESPN’s highly respected basketball reporter, Marc Stein, wrote Wednesday that MLSE is ready to install the 74-year-old Wayne Embry in as a temporary measure, perhaps even before the draft, if need be. Embry, of course, is the wise man who foisted Jalen Rose off on New York in his brief but productive stage-setting turn before Colangelo got here in the first place. Whether he’s ready to run a draft, nobody knows; if he can, since a lockout may result in the NBA shutting its doors for rather a long time, maybe a temporary GM wouldn’t be the worst-case scenario. But as the Leafs demonstrated, when you enter a new ecosystem, you’d sure as hell better have the right man in charge. National Post

April 20, 2011 Updates

There are likewise plenty of observers who believe Colangelo, given his experience dealing with changes to the league's economic system and his overall body of work in both Phoenix and Toronto, deserves at least one more season to run the point on Toronto's post-Chris Bosh rebuild. However ... Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com this week that the Raptors do have a backup plan if the current management -- at the urging of staunch anti-Colangelo board member Glen Silvestri -- decides it's best to make an immediate change. Or a change after June 30. ESPN.com

One possibility management is considering, sources said, is naming Raptors special advisor Wayne Embry as interim GM. In that scenario, Embry and longtime Raptors scouting director Jim Kelly would then either be asked to oversee Toronto's draft in Colangelo's place, or Embry would simply become interim GM as of July 1. Embry, 74, has already served as interim GM for the Raps once before, taking temporary charge of the team's basketball operations in January 2006 from the ousted Rob Babcock -- even making two trades before the trade deadline that season -- before Colangelo was hired on Feb. 28, 2006. ESPN.com

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