Cavs tied to Danny Ferry-Luol Deng saga

Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry is in the midst of a scandal involving former Cleveland Cavaliers veteran small forward Luol Deng and a scouting report which contained racial slurs. Ferry’s story is that, when he told team owners that Deng had “some African in him,” he was relaying information off a free agent scouting report. That report has now come to light, thanks to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB Channel 2, and it appears that there are ties to the Cavs front office.
The Luol Deng “African” comment appears to have come from a Cavaliers executive. http://t.co/5gxX1MWFq4 pic.twitter.com/5FqQOZVmPZ
— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) September 12, 2014

The line in question revolves around “when we got him, Chicago had run him into the ground.” The passage that has gotten the most attention?
He’s a good guy on the cover, but he’s an African. He has a little two step in him = says what you like to hear, ubt behind closed doors he could be killing you. Con is

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Danny Ferry takes indefinite leave of absence

The Atlanta Hawks announced Friday that general manager Danny Ferry will be taking an indefinite leave of absence after audio surfaced of the GM reading racist remarks about Miami Heat forward Luol Deng from a scouting report in June. Ferry released a statement expressing his apology to Deng and to anyone else he offended. “Luol is a good man who I have known for many years, and he has done a tremendous amount of good for his country (of South Sudan) and around the world,” Ferry says. “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. “…My focus moving forward is to tirelessly work to rebuild trust with this community and with our fans. I realize that my words may ring hollow now, and my future actions must speak for me. I will maximize my time during this leave to meet with community leaders and further educate myself and others on the extremely sensitive issues surrounding race, diversit…

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Danny Ferry Takes Leave of Absence: Latest Details, Analysis and Updates

Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry will take an indefinite leave of absence in the aftermath of the controversy over racist comments he made about free agent Luol Deng, as reported by Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Vivlamore also tweeted out the news Friday:

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin made the announcement in a statement, via Vivlamore:

This afternoon, Danny Ferry requested, and I have approved, taking an indefinite leave of absence, effective immediately. This has been an incredibly difficult time for him and his family and it is my hope that this time away from the Hawks organization allows him the privacy he needs to listen to the community, to learn about his mistakes, and to begin the long process of personal healing. As a human being, manager and friend, I wish him well as he undergoes this process.

While the issues related to race are deeply troubling, at the heart of this dispute is an unfortunate disagreement amongst owners. That said, we have taken several steps to address what we can do as an organization to be better and stronger, including working with a diversity consultant to examine us and to train us to ensure something like this never happens again, we are committed to hiring a Chief Diversity Officer, and we have and will continue to meet with community leaders in an ongoing way to ensure our values reflect the community in which we play and work. The process of selling the team, which is to remain in Atlanta, is already underway.

Effective immediately, our Head Coach, Mike Budenholzer, will assume oversight of the basketball operations department. He will report directly to me.

I am deeply saddened and embarrassed that this has put a blemish on our team and our city, which has always been a diverse community with a history of coming together as one. We should build bridges through basketball, not divide our community or serve as a source of pain. 

Ferry, who has claimed he was reading from a report, made the offending statements during a conference call in June. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also obtained the audio recording at the center of the controversy, which can be heard below.

The recording is only a part of what was a longer call, and Ferry does not specifically mention that he is reading from a background report on this tape. The rest of the recording was reportedly lost.

What’s more, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provided a PDF document of the Hawks’ scouting report on Deng, which also contained racist remarks regarding the free agent.

Regarding the controversy, NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently said Ferry should keep his job.

ESPN.com noted that Ferry made the following comments when referring to Deng and the scouting report: “Has a little African in him. Not in a bad way, but he’s like a guy who would have a nice store out front but sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back.” Ferry also stated Deng was “two-faced” in referring to his report.

Before Ferry took leave, Koonin said that he would be disciplined but not lose his job. While the actual punishment was not specified, a law firm did undertake a three-month investigation into Ferry’s comments and reportedly went through 24,000 documents, conducted 19 interviews and read Ferry’s previous emails.

No other negative information was found regarding Ferry during that probe.

Ferry also called Deng to apologize, and the forward commented on the situation himself Tuesday.

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Silver: Hawks GM Danny Ferry shouldn’t be fired

The NBA commissioner told USA TODAY Sports that Danny Ferry’s track record is important.

      
 

 

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Adam Silver doesn’t think Danny Ferry should be fired

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to the Atlanta Hawks and Danny Ferry. That includes league commissioner, Adam Silver. While in Spain for the FIBA World Cup, Silver was asked his thoughts, by USA Today, about the whole situation and […]

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Report: Danny Ferry ‘Sounds Like (Donald) Sterling’ To Hawks Minority Owner

Michael Gearon is largely responsible for the major impending shakeup atop the Atlanta Hawks’ power structure, but “Gearon is no whistle-blowing hero for racial justice,” according to a new report. A transcript of the conference call on which Hawks general manager Danny Ferry made racist comments about Luol Deng shows the complicated politics within the organization. In the transcript, which was procured by Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Gearon, a limited ownership partner, appears to immediately recognize the controversial potential of those comments by Ferry, with whom Gearon had clashed. Deng has “got some African in him,” Ferry reportedly said on the Friday afternoon conference call, before launching into a bizarre aside in which he claims the veteran forward would sell counterfeit goods out the back of his nonexistent store. “Oh, my God, that comment sounds like Sterling on TMZ,” Gearon said, according to Wojnarowski. That call sparked an internal investigation that led to m…

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Luol Deng Comments on Hawks, Danny Ferry Email Controversy

In response to disparaging remarks made by Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry, Miami Heat star Luol Deng expressed disappointment in what was said—and gratitude for the situation he landed in.   

Bleacher Report’s Ethan J. Skolnick had Deng’s detailed reply to address what Ferry had said:

Deng mostly took the high road and was prideful of his background, but did make it known he wasn’t pleased with Ferry’s choice of words.

Ferry attempted to explain himself earlier on Tuesday, via CBSSports.com’s Zach Harper:

Even though Ferry’s justification can be understood to some degree, there is no shortage of backlash from this controversy. Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson was appalled by Ferry’s comments and gave his opinion:

CBS Sports’ Doug Gottlieb recorded an alternative take on the situation from someone who used to work with Ferry:

Co-owner Bruce Levenson is putting the Hawks up for sale after an email he exchanged with Ferry surfaced, in which Levenson used racist language.

As reported by Zach Klein of WSB-TV 2 in Atlanta, the franchise’s minority owner, Michael Gearon Jr., emailed Levenson on June 12. In that email, Gearon called for Ferry to be fired, citing Ferry’s derogatory testimony about Deng that he read off a scouting report during a conference call.

There is a lot of information to sift through amid this unfortunate saga. The important takeaways are that Deng showed class and chose to address the issue rather than ignore it. Hawks CEO Steve Koonin has punished Ferry for his actions, according to The Associated Press’ Charles Odum.

The terms of the disciplinary action aren’t yet disclosed, but Koonin will retain Ferry as GM.

Regardless of whether Ferry read the information about Deng on a scouting report or not, uttering the words he did will leave a mark on his legacy forever. Atlanta is still not quite a true contender in the Eastern Conference, and missing out on Deng, in addition to the comments that surfaced about him, could hurt the organization when trying to land free agents in the future.

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Atlanta Hawks: Can the team recover without Danny Ferry?

In late April, Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling took some heat for a racist voicemail he left for his girlfriend urging her not to bring African Americans to his stadium. Donald Sterling received a lifetime ban and was forced to sell the team.
The Clippers’ players responded by wearing their jerseys inside-out in pregame warmups.
The Atlanta Hawks never garnish national attention, but this week has been different. Majority owner Barry Levenson announced his intent to sell the team. Levenson’s decision seemed like an obvious one once more details were released about an email he sent to Hawks’ General Manager Danny Ferry.
In this letter Levenson revealed his displeasure in the area around Philips Arena and in particular the number of black fans in attendance.
Levenson said he values “white fans more than black fans” & that he was “afraid the white fans were intimidated by the black fans” #ATLHawks
— Brian Garcia (@BrianM_Garcia) September 7, 2014
Straight from Levenson’ email

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Danny Ferry on Luol Deng: He has African in him, would sell you counterfeit stuff

Danny Ferry looked like he was going to escape the Atlanta Hawks scandal without losing his job, but now that might not be the case. On Sunday, word came through that Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson would be selling his stake in the team after a 2012 internal email he sent was shared with the […]

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Why Danny Granger Will Be NBA’s Next Great Reclamation Project

Danny Granger shouldn’t look this comfortable. Not this quickly.

After 544 regular-season appearances with the Indiana Pacers, the 30-year-old is just 10 games into his tenure with the Los Angeles Clippers. And somehow, he already looks like part of the family.

An acclimation period wasn’t just expected, it seemed like a best-case scenario.

Plagued by nagging knee pain, the former All-Star had gone from being the face of the Pacers to a part-time player (21.4 minutes since the start of last season) and even more infrequent contributor (7.9 points on 34.9 percent shooting over that stretch). A midseason swap sent him to the Philadelphia 76ers, and his subsequent buyout moved him out the waiver wire.

The Clippers took out a free-agent flier on him, knowing even that could prove too costly an investment. On one hand, they were buying low on a player not two full seasons removed from an 18.7-points-per-game scoring average. On the other, they were paying for damaged goods with no guarantee things would get any better.

But things have gotten better. The Clippers have already seen a return on their bargain-bin investment.

Granger has been a difference-making reserve almost from the moment he slipped on his new NBA threads. After a scoreless, forgettable four-minute debut, he reeled off an efficient 10 points (on 50 percent shooting) in 18 minutes his next time out against his new intracity rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers did what he could to keep optimistic fans from reading too much into the numbers.

You could tell, even though he played really well in the second half, it’s going to be a rhythm thing,” Rivers said, via FOX Sports’ Michael Martinez. “It’s going to take a while. … I don’t think you take two years off, then play sparingly and then just walk in our league and play well.”

It was preemptive protection, a savvy move that looked all the wiser when Granger managed seven points on seven field-goal attempts.

Yet, that patience talk started losing steam as Granger made it clear he needed none of it. He poured in 14 points on 45 percent shooting in his next game, then turned back the clock with an efficient, productive 18-point, six-rebound performance:

Even Rivers had a hard time hiding his excitement.

He’s just coming. He’s getting better and better,” the coach said after Granger’s 14-point effort, via Eric Patten of Clippers.com. “You can see his feet are starting to move a little bit. He can shoot the ball, so that’s really helped. He can put the ball on the floor a little bit.”

He can play like the Granger of old—not the old, worn-down Granger.

The only thing containing his stat sheet right now is his playing time.

He’s cleared 20 minutes only three times, and never topped 25, through his first 10 games in L.A. With one eye fixated on the postseason, the Clippers don’t want to push him too hard, too quickly. Granger has also battled foul trouble (3.9 per 36 minutes), the most obvious sign of the rust that remains.

Whenever that leash is loosened, he seems like he’ll be ready for the expanded workload. His per-36-minute marks (20.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists) aren’t that far off from his per-game averages during his All-Star season of 2008-09 (25.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists).

He might not look exactly like he did in his prime, but he looks a lot closer to that player than the one who struggled just to see the floor over the past season-plus:

But don’t take my word for it.

Not when there’s video evidence to validate that claim.

The Clippers didn’t just give Granger a roster spot, they offered him a chance to get his career back on track.

For as much as the basketball gods have frustrated with injuries this season, they seem to have a soft spot for these redemption stories.

Rudy Gay was an inefficient wreck when he left the Toronto Raptors. Now, his 20.5 player efficiency rating in 46 games with the Sacramento Kings checks out higher than All-Stars John Wall (20.1) and Joakim Noah (20.2).

Monta Ellis has all but cleansed himself of the damage done during his one-plus season stay with the Milwaukee Bucks. His field-goal percentage has climbed four points from last season (45.6, up from 41.6), his three-point mark has seen almost the same increase (32.2, up from 28.7) and he’s emerged as a sensational sidekick for Dirk Nowitzki on a dangerous Dallas Mavericks team.

DeAndre Jordan went from Vinny Del Negro’s doghouse to holding top-five rankings in rebounds (13.7 per game, first) and blocks (2.4, third). Jodie Meeks traded empty stats (8.0 points on 40.4 percent shooting his first four seasons) for efficiency (15.3, 45.4). Miles Plumlee went from forgotten (0.9 points in 3.9 minutes per game as a rookie last season) to featured (8.3 points, 25.1 minutes).

Granger’s fall was longer and harder than any of these players. He fell from a higher post and had more physical obstacles to clear on his road to redemption.

But he knows where he’s been, where he wants to go and what he needs to do to get there.

“It’s nice that he came from a serious organization and a serious team,” Rivers said, via SB Nation’s Mike Jaglin. “I know that sounds crazy, but I think that’s good because he came in serious.”

That’s why Granger has found comfort that shouldn’t be available to him and why it’s easy to believe in the lasting power of this reclamation project after only 10 games.

The Clippers rolled the dice on him as a potential contributor, and he gambled on them as full-fledged championship contenders.

Both are counting their riches now. Both are rewriting their basketball stories, with a possible ending in sight sweeter than anything they’ve ever experienced.

 

Unless otherwise noted, statistics used courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com.

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