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Horford back but playing it safe in training camp (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:24:59 PDT)
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Al Horford stood on the sideline during the first day of training camp Tuesday, tugging anxiously at his No. 15 jersey while his teammates went through a five-on-five drill.

National Basketball Association roundup
(Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:58:05 PDT)
(The Sports Xchange) - The Phoenix Suns signed forwards Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris to multiyear contract extensions Monday reportedly worth a combined $52 million for the twin brothers. Multiple media outlets reported that Markieff Morris will receive a four-year deal worth $32 million while Marcus Morris will get a four-year deal worth $20 million. - - Veteran swingman Evan Turner officially became a member of the Boston Celtics when he signed a two-year deal with the club worth about $6.7 million. Turner and Boston had agreed to terms in July. Turner averaged 17. ...

BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: Toronto Raptors (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 29 Sep 2014 13:51:20 PDT)
The Toronto Raptors weren’t supposed to win last season. They weren’t designed to fail, but they weren’t far off. In fairness they weren’t designed at all by general manager Masai Uriri, who was lured from Denver after the 2012-13 season concluded to replace former GM Bryan Colangelo. Working without a first round draft pick and much trade leverage, Ujiri still managed to dump Andrea Bargnani and his contract on the New York Knicks for a cadre of draft picks , but by and large his Raptors looked very much like the squad Colangelo had put together in hopes of making the playoffs the year before. Search any 2013-14 season preview roundup, though, and you’ll find Toronto’s name listed squarely amongst those that were expected to more or less sit out the season during the NBA’s Great Tanking Scourge of the Long Winter. The Raps may have featured a playoff-level payroll, nearly dishing out the luxury tax last year, but Toronto was supposed to battle with the 76ers, Celtics and Magic in the race for more and more ping-pong balls in the draft lottery. Rudy Gay’s value was at an all-time low, and he would be later dealt for a series of rotation parts that didn’t even provide immediate salary cap relief. Coach Dwane Casey was in the final year of a contract that Ujiri didn’t sign him to. Guard Kyle Lowry, the reason for that missed draft pick in 2013, was coming off of a year full of grousing and expected to be dealt to his third team in three years midseason. DeMar DeRozan, even at just 24 years of age, appeared to be working on a plateau. Then, the team just stopped losing. Stuck at 7-13 two days after the Rudy Gay deal, Casey and Lowry led the Raptors to a 41-21 finish, showcasing sound instincts on both ends of the floor in spite of some dodgy late-game play. Toronto not only made the playoffs, it won the second Atlantic Division title in the franchise’s history. It probably should have made the second-round, too, had Kyle Lowry’s much-rued potential game-winner not have been blocked by former Brooklyn Nets swingman (still weird) Paul Pierce in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs. All of this put Ujiri in a somewhat enviable position that seems quite familiar. If you’ll recall, Colangelo’s Raptors took off in his first full year with Toronto, making the playoffs in 2007 with a series of carry-over players and coaches that were supposed to be on the outs with the new regime on its way in. With a postseason berth in hand, Colangelo doubled-down on what he was given, including the coaching staff, while over-committing to what he brought in (Bargnani). Things didn’t really grow from there. Ujiri wasn’t wrong to bring back Casey, or to re-sign Lowry to a very reasonable deal, or to draft a project pick that was shamed on national TV as being “ two years away from being two years away .” He really didn’t have much room to move, what with a solid roster already in place, chemistry established, and no real free agent prospects to work with in the summer before several Raptors’ deals will come off the book. No, this wasn’t a bad offseason, and it won’t be a bad season. It’s just a too-familiar scenario, as we lead up to Masai’s great big chance to shake things up in the summer of 2015. After too many years in the wilderness, Raptor fans will take whatever they can get.

Saunders returns to bench in Minnesota (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 28 Sep 2014 12:06:57 PDT)
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Flip Saunders spent the entire summer with his executive hat on, banging his head against a wall for a full month thanks to an arcane NBA rule that forced his Minnesota Timberwolves and the Cleveland Cavaliers to wait 30 days before completing a trade for Kevin Love.

Column: NBA still must deal with the race issue (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 26 Sep 2014 16:14:29 PDT)
ATLANTA (AP) -- While the NFL was rightfully being hammered over turning a blind eye to domestic violence, the NBA got a bit of a pass on its latest brouhaha.

The 10-man rotation, starring how Erik Spoelstra will go about plugging the biggest hole ever (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 26 Sep 2014 16:00:26 PDT)
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Sports Illustrated . Lee Jenkins hits another moonshot, this time detailing Erik Spoelstra's rise from "The Dungeon" to the highest points of NBA success, the fear of failure that drives him, and the process he'll take to rebuild the Miami Heat after losing LeBron James in free agency. Phenomenal detail and openness from Spoelstra. PF : . Brian Windhorst on what the return of an "all-business" version of LeBron means for his new teammates and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers organization: "He is going to live up to his end of the bargain. If anyone with the Cavs doesn't live up to theirs, and that starts with owner Dan Gilbert and goes right down to the ball boys, James is not going to let them get away with it." SF : Variety . In less serious LeBron news, you'll be able to watch the first two episodes of his new Starz sitcom, "Survivor's Remorse," for free on a few different platforms this weekend, if you just can't wait until the series' broadcast premiere on Oct. 4. SG : Bleacher Report . Howard Beck on how the NBA's "no conviction, no suspension" punishment policy on domestic violence cases represents a no-longer-acceptable "stance that has left the league looking passive and ineffectual." PG : Talking Points . Extended comments from Steve Kerr on how the Golden State Warriors' offense might look, the importance of taking advantage of Andrew Bogut's playmaking skills, Stephen Curry's defense and much more. 6th : Atlanta Journal-Constitution . Atlanta Hawks head coach — and, now , general manager — Mike Budenholzer on where his team slots into the shuffled-up, post-LeBron-back-to-Cleveland conference hierarchy: "I think there are fans out there that know more about the East than I do. Hopefully I know more about the Hawks than they do." 7th : Eye on Basketball . A neat piece by Matt Moore on how LeBron's two major moves were sparked, to some degree, by the forever-linked big-man tandem of Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. 8th : Wall Street Journal . Jason Gay talks with fashion folk about Russell Westbrook's continued advances in the world of menswear, and how his sartorial splendor reflects his style of play: "His instinct is to always take the risk and worry about the results later—or just not worry about them at all." 9th : All Ball . The offseason's coming to an end and training camps are starting, and that can mean only one thing: players talking about how they've gained or lost 15 pounds to get in the best shape of their respective lives. Ladies and gentlemen, Lang Whitaker's #MUSCLEWATCH. 10th : Spurs Nation . The re-bearded Gregg Popovich on what he sees as the next challenge facing 2014 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard: "[…] to be in that top echelon of players in our league it’s a huge responsibility to have to come and do that every night. The Duncans, the Durants, the James-es and all those kinds of guys do it night after night after night and it’s a huge responsibility." - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

Luol Deng forgives Danny Ferry for racist comments (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 26 Sep 2014 15:58:43 PDT)
MIAMI (AP) -- Luol Deng said Friday that he forgives Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry for making racially charged remarks about him, and hopes the two will work together to draw some sort of positive solution to the matter.

Phil Jackson's bullish on his Knicks: 'We believe we're going to be a playoff team' (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 26 Sep 2014 15:03:26 PDT)

BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: New York Knicks (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 26 Sep 2014 11:51:06 PDT)

Hawks, civil rights leaders vow to work together (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 26 Sep 2014 11:21:44 PDT)
ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Hawks and city civil rights leaders say a meeting between the team's CEO and the group was ''extremely productive.''

Hawks sign free agent Bazemore, re-sign Brand (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:21:40 PDT)
ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Hawks have signed free-agent guard Kent Bazemore and re-signed forward-center Elton Brand.

The NBA has reportedly stopped investigating the Cleveland source of the nasty Luol Deng comments (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:28:08 PDT)
Buried near the end of a (very good) notes piece from Cleveland Cavaliers beat writer Jason Lloyd were a few depressing tidbits about the NBA’s approach to the furor that erupted after Danny Ferry was documented signing off on a horribly misguided scouting report on Luol Deng. Ferry, as you likely know by this point, paraphrased a line that equated being of African heritage as also being prone to acting as a duplicitous two-face, never once pausing to pass on relaying that sort of “information” to his bosses with the Atlanta Hawks, never thinking twice about how this execrable nonsense ended up in a scouting report in the first place. The report was later leaked, showing that a former Cleveland Cavaliers employee was behind the words, though that knowledge doesn’t absolve Ferry (and whatever Hawk employee saw fit to copy and paste the ex-Cleveland source’s thoughts into the report) for his glaring lack of leadership. No matter, a few weeks later. The NBA is moving on. Sadly. From the Akron Beacon-Journal : 17. The NBA has poked around and asked some questions about the Luol Deng scouting report that was leaked recently, a league source with knowledge of the situation said. But it’s an overstatement to categorize the league’s involvement as an active investigation. 18. The league seems to be approaching this just as the Cavs are: The redacted report clearly seems to indicate it’s a former employee, so there isn’t much that can be done at this point. 19. One thing that seems clear from a number of people I’ve spoken with around the league: Many are upset with the way the Atlanta Hawks, from ownership to the front office, etc… have handled this whole debacle. What this does, sadly, is speak to what we’ve all feared in the wake of Donald Sterling’s banishment from the NBA. Danny Ferry’s absence of leadership won’t cost the NBA any endorsements, or flood the league with bad press and nasty headlines. Sterling’s illegally-recorded words did, and this is why the NBA (correctly) moved in with swift alacrity in ousting the longtime Los Angeles Clippers owner. Of course, it only counts as “alacrity” if you ignore the NBA’s stone feet and silent mouths as it watched Sterling’s uncomfortable at best and discriminatory at worst practices when it came to engaging with minorities both within and outside of the Los Angeles Clippers organization for three decades prior. Once the bad press and lost money hit, the NBA (a private league with collectively bargained bylaws) was more than within its legal right to force a weak link out of the club. That right was proven in a court of law, which eventually led to Sterling’s sale of the Clippers (even if his estranged wife, with her dubious discriminatory past, is still involved with the NBA). The NBA has no current tangible link to the jobless ex-Cavalier executive, and it may have no such legal recourse with Ferry, as his future lies in the hands of the Hawks’ ownership. It’s whether or not they care enough to, is the damning question. Ferry should be out in Atlanta. As Yahoo Sports Adrian Wojnarowski explained , he sold out just about every unnamed executive and/or scout that could have been associated with this report, doubling down on miserable leadership before silently skulking away to the realm of the indefinite hiatus-takers. I would not go as far as to want to blackball Ferry from the league, I don’t think he’s a racist and believe his only initial crime was to enable the work of people that said and signed off on some very dumb things. Ferry made things worse, however, by effectively signing off on and rubber-stamping the report out of Cleveland – in his words, no less. And then running from those words, claiming innocence under the cloak of the redacted name of an ex-Cleveland executive . While leaving his second-year coach and scouting staff to clean up the mess during this hiatus, with the team’s ownership still in flux. Ferry’s history as an NBA GM has not been stellar, but he certainly has enough basketball acumen up there to rightfully keep and sustain a job in an NBA front office (though not at the top) after this. It’s his lack of leadership, especially in this (ongoing, mind you) incident that is the problem. What’s a bigger problem is that the NBA has reportedly determined that the damage has already been done, and that with pro football taking all the sporting flack and the baseball playoffs about to start, they don’t need to investigate further, as that redacted Cavalier employee is no longer with the team. In the absence of their interest, the Atlanta Hawks need to take charge. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

Bulls re-sign veteran center Mohammed (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 22 Sep 2014 14:50:00 PDT)
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Bulls say they have re-signed veteran center Nazr Mohammed.

The 10-man rotation, starring the late Caldwell Jones (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 22 Sep 2014 14:18:23 PDT)

Dwyane Wade credits David Stern's dress code for improving his style (Ball Don't Lie)
(Thu, 18 Sep 2014 18:12:59 PDT)

Atlanta mayor: Plenty of potential Hawks buyers (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:12:22 PDT)
The mayor has already heard from plenty of potential buyers for the Atlanta Hawks. Flanked by Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins and other city leaders, Mayor Kasim Reed said Tuesday he expects the sale of the team to move briskly after racially charged comments by owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry. ''All six of those prospective buyers will have to go through a process to be vetted by the NBA.

Atlanta mayor: Talked to 6 possible Hawks owners (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:10:32 PDT)
Mayor Kasim Reed said Tuesday he has already talked with six potential buyers of the Atlanta Hawks and expects a sale of the team to move quickly after racially charged comments by owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry. Flanked by Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins and other city leaders, Reed said the crisis engulfing the NBA team would be solved ''the Atlanta way'' and predicted the franchise would come out stronger in the end. The Hawks have been under fire since it was revealed Levenson sent an email two years ago theorizing that many suburban whites would not attend NBA games because of the team's African-American fans.

Hawks apologize to players, city for racism row
(Sat, 13 Sep 2014 16:29:43 PDT)
Atlanta Hawks chief executive Steve Koonin posted an apology letter on the NBA team's website Saturday, a week after a racism scandal erupted around the Hawks' owner and general manager. Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson announced last weekend that he would sell his controlling interest in the Hawks in the wake of a 2012 e-mail in which he said, among other things, that "the black crowd scared away the whites." Last Monday, the probe that led to Levenson's decision was found to have started last June after general manager Danny Ferry made racist remarks about African-born British NBA star Luol Deng during a conference call discussing potential Hawks free agent options.

Hawks apologize for racially charged comments (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 13 Sep 2014 12:14:36 PDT)
ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Hawks released an open letter of apology to fans and city of Atlanta on Saturday, saying the organization ''did not do the right thing'' to correct racially inflammatory words and innuendos ''over a period of years.''

Danny Ferry's fatal mistake: He never owned his comments (Yahoo Sports)
(Fri, 12 Sep 2014 21:10:56 PDT)
Danny Ferry has likely served his last day as the Hawks' GM, and he can blame only himself.

Hawks facing challenges on court and in stands (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 12 Sep 2014 18:55:17 PDT)
ATLANTA (AP) -- Racially inflammatory comments made by Hawks' management left the NBA team facing a crisis that threatens its progress on the court and in the stands.

Hawks GM Ferry takes indefinite leave of absence (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 12 Sep 2014 18:21:37 PDT)
Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry took an indefinite leave of absence Friday, making the move under fire for his racially charged comments about a player. Hawks CEO Steve Koonin has resisted calls for Ferry to be dismissed, but said the 47-year-old GM asked for the leave. ''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,'' Koonin said in a statement. ''My focus moving forward is to tirelessly work to rebuild trust with this community and with our fans,'' he said.

Ferry steps away from Hawks' operations
(Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:27:20 PDT)
Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry is taking an indefinite leave of absence over racial comments he made in a team meeting with the NBA club's top officials. Ferry, who has since apologized and said he was reading comments from one of the team's scouting reports, has come under fire over racially charged comments he made about player African-born Loul Deng during a conference call with Hawks ownership and management in June. Atlanta chief executive Steve Koonin said Friday that Ferry requested an indefinite leave of absence after making remarks. Head coach Mike Budenholzer will take over the operations of the team.

Hawks general manager takes leave of absence after making racial comments
(Fri, 12 Sep 2014 14:27:20 PDT)
Atlanta Hawks General Manager Danny Ferry, under fire for making racially charged remarks, has taken an indefinite leave of absence, the NBA team said on Friday. Ferry's move follows an announcement on Sunday by majority owner Bruce Levenson that he would sell his controlling interest because he had sent a racially insensitive email. Ferry's leave takes effect immediately, Hawks Chief Executive Steve Koonin said. "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," Koonin said in a statement.

The 10-man rotation, starring really cool video games that help us forget (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:54:16 PDT)
A look around the league and the web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : YouTube . We don’t like to advertise such things here, but the trailer for a particular portion of NBA 2K15 looks pretty sweet. PF : Atlanta Journal-Constitution . Chris Vivlamore on the unending discord in the Atlanta Hawks’ front office. SF : Washington Post . Michael Lee on the unending discord in the Atlanta Hawks’ front office. Sensing something, here. SG : Sports Illustrated . Michael Rosenberg discusses why Danny Ferry, currently on a nonsense “ indefinite leave of absence ,” needs to be fired. PG : SB Nation . Seth Rosenthal points to the hypocrisy behind the “we all have skeletons in our closet”-nonsense. If you’re an adult and you don’t say stupid things, you won’t get in trouble for saying stupid things. It’s that stupidly simple. 6th : New York Times . Knicks owner James Dolan’s musical life really is like that scene in ‘Funny People’ where Adam Sandler’s character has to pay a group of musicians more money in order to hang around and jam with him. 7th : Deseret News . Andrei Kirilenko’s house in Salt Lake City was burglarized recently. Luckily, his family wasn’t home at the time, and the thieves focused on taking video games and comic books over more expensive paintings and the like. 8th : Bleacher Report : A very cool look at the terribly underrated, if quite oafish, 1994 Team USA outfit. 9th : Detroit Bad Boys . Has Stan Van Gundy already started making mistakes in Detroit? 10th : At the Hive . A very cool and thorough look at Rich Cho’s time spent manning the Charlotte franchise. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry takes indefinite leave of absence after racially charged comments (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:24:57 PDT)
ATLANTA (AP) -- Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry takes indefinite leave of absence after racially charged comments.

Danny Ferry takes an indefinite leave of absence with the Hawks as more documents emerge (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:17:39 PDT)
In the wake of ever-swirling revelations about the way Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry handled the free-agent courtship of Luol Deng in July, the Hawks’ recently-promoted CEO Steve Koonin has accepted Ferry’s request to take a leave of absence from the team he has run since 2012. Here is part of the statement made by the Hawks on Friday afternoon: “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. Ferry released his own statement: "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. Almost all the background information I provided during the lengthy presentation regarding Luol was positive and my personal and professional recommendation during the call was very much in favor of adding Luol to our team but I never should have uttered those offensive remarks and for that I apologize. "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, diversity, and inclusion. I will find a way to make a positive difference in this area, and further learn from the sensitivity training that I will go through.” This move comes on the heels of yet another bombshell, following revelations of the meeting that Ferry called in order to detail Deng’s supposed background to a cadre of Hawk owners , and the release of the actual audio from that meeting . A document recently obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB Channel 2 appears to disclose that a former Cleveland Cavaliers executive wrote the damning “scouting” report that Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry expounded upon in his discussions regarding Luol Deng’s possible signing with the franchise. The remarks were paraphrased by Ferry, they allowed one disgruntled minority owner to pounce and ask for Ferry’s resignation, and the resulting criticism could cost Ferry his job. Here’s a screen shot of the Cleveland-sourced report:

Shareef Abdur-Rahim: 'I am proud to have African in me' (Yahoo Sports)
(Fri, 12 Sep 2014 11:42:29 PDT)
Former Hawks star Shareef Abdur-Rahim wrote an open letter about the racially charged comments by Steven Levenson and Danny Ferry.

Two African-American NBA general managers come to Danny Ferry's defense (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 12 Sep 2014 11:34:02 PDT)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s release of Danny Ferry’s actual recorded words confirms what Adrian Wojnarowski already reported on Wednesday : Ferry was more than certainly the brains behind the needless and insulting comments about then-free agent forward Luol Deng, and the entire Atlanta Hawks franchise is in flux as a result. When I navel-gazed regarding Ferry’s future with the Hawks and the league he’s called home since returning stateside in 1990, I mentioned the absence of leadership as the most damning reason why Ferry should not continue with the team. To relay those thoughts and perceptions, be they his or the words of some witless scout, was so far off base that it still defies belief. It defies belief no matter how many times we’ve had to re-read or eventually hear the words that I won’t waste your time in relaying once again. What are worth relaying are the words of two of Ferry’s contemporaries in the general manager market. Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri and Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King have both known and have worked with Danny Ferry for years, and both spoke out on Thursday in regards to the thought process that leads to scouting reports like these, Ferry’s character as a person and professional, and his future. The Nigeria-born Ujiri, in an expertly-penned op-ed piece for The Globe and Mail , gets the first nod: R. C. Buford is the GM of the San Antonio Spurs. He was one of the first NBA executives to come to our Basketball Without Borders camps a decade ago. That same year, he adopted a young man from Cameroon. Wayne Embry is an adviser for our team. Forty years ago, he was the first African-American GM of an NBA team. Both of these men, whom I trust so much, are close to Danny. They have nothing but great things to say about him. The league is a small world. Other people I’ve spoken to who know Danny well say that he has never done anything they’ve seen to suggest he holds racist views. I spoke to Danny myself about this. He started off by apologizing to Luol. He apologized to me and apologized for any insult he’d offered to African people in general. He explained the incident as best he could to me. There are some things about that conversation I would like to keep between the two of us, but I came away feeling like I’d understood what he had to say. Here is what I have to say: 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. Via Grantland’s Zach Lowe , here are King’s statements: King on Ferry: “I have known him since we were 15 years old. He is like a brother to me and he is the furthest thing from a racist.” — Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) September 12, 2014 The issue here is that nobody I know has called Danny Ferry a racist. I’m sure he’s been referred to as much in message boards I don’t frequent and comment sections I don’t peruse, but even with that highly-dubious Bonzi Wells incident from 2002 still lingering , I cannot recall any NBA voice of substance referring to Ferry in such strict terms. We do know that he’s prejudiced, because to impugn an entire continent as sneaky and backhanded by definition of its name alone shows a shocking lack of knowledge and character. We do know that he failed as a leader, because no voice of the basketball end of the Hawks franchise should be either relaying or (more likely) thinking and then expressing these thoughts as a way of describing a potential employee. I cannot recall who, but someone on Twitter recently wondered aloud as to what a scouting report in someone like Ferry’s hands would say for someone like Michael Beasley. Luol Deng is widely respected and the recipient of the NBA’s Citizenship Award, and Beasley is a career-wasting flameout that is looking to join his fourth NBA team in two calendar years right now, with little luck so far and with training camp just weeks away. The issue with that (appropriate) query is that good leaders don’t need to reduce themselves to even nastier language to describe someone like Beasley, who didn’t even bother to show some sort of care and concern for his game last season even while being gifted the opportunity to spell LeBron James and play deep into June with the Miami Heat. The same goes for Deng, even if he does have some batch of mitigating factors Atlanta Hawk owners should worry about. Mitigating factors we’re unaware of. (Though if it is true that Deng sometimes acts as an anonymous source for the press while denying as much, can you blame him? This is the guy that watched as the Chicago Bulls publicly scolded for not playing on a broken leg, before having to get an outside opinion that confirmed that, yeah, Luol Deng has a broken leg. This is a guy whose Chicago front office stood by silently while their coach – who knew exactly what was wrong with Luol Deng at the time – referred to his career-threatening botched spinal tap as “flu-like symptoms.” This is the guy that had to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, before the franchise got its head out of its tails and dumped the Chris Grant/Mike Brown regime.) Danny Ferry should have found some way to discuss Luol Deng’s merits and demerits and the sometimes beneficial overlap of the two in ways far better than the ones we read about on Wednesday , and heard on Thursday . Whether or not this misstep is a fireable offense in a vacuum is up for debate. This didn’t happen in a vacuum, though, and there are feelings to consider and a franchise’s future to think about. Donald Sterling wasn’t pushed out of the NBA because he’s a racist – the league has known about his line of thinking and discriminatory practices for decades. He was pushed out of the NBA because he was bad for business. The Hawks may have just signed Elton Brand, a solid pickup that shares a university affiliation with Ferry, but that doesn’t mean Ferry won’t be bad for their particular brand of business – be it recruiting players, fans, or potential owners – in many ways moving forward. Ujiri and King were right to talk about forgiveness, and after the initial shock and anger wore off, I think most of us have already forgiven Danny Ferry for what appear to be his own dumb thoughts and expressions. What matters now is the cold, hard world of creating a winning team and (more importantly) securing profits. In that regard, Ferry’s future is out of forgiveness’s hands. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

Audio surfaces of Ferry's racist remarks
(Thu, 11 Sep 2014 20:40:45 PDT)
A US newspaper says it has the audio recording of Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry making racially charged comments about National Basketball Association player Luol Deng. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution posted online the partial recording of a June 6 conference call. Speaking to Hawks' management, Ferry says of Deng: "He's a good guy overall but he's not perfect. At that stage someone in the room -- apparently Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon -- interrupts Ferry and says: "That's going to be on TMZ tonight."

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