Sep 27, 2014 1:31 AM EDT
Luol Deng met the media on Friday and said he wants to move on from the unfortunate situation of Danny Ferry's racial remarks directed toward him during free agency.
"I think one of the hardest things to do as a human being and something that we should do more often is forgive," Deng said. "I do forgive Danny. It's not something I want to hold onto for the rest of my career or for the rest of my life.
"When it first happened, I didn't think I was involved in it at all when the first letter came out. The next day, I had phone calls and emails and text messages. I kind of tried to sit back and see what was really going on. I didn't want to jump into anything. I believe that he's really sorry for what he said. Whether it came from him or whatever it came from, I think the main focus really should be how we move forward, what are we going to do about it instead of just pointing fingers and trying to go after each other and be mad at each other."
Ferry said Deng, who is from Sudan, had "some African in him" while reading a scouting report with team personnel during a teleconference in the summer. Deng and Ferry have since spoken to each other about the comments.
"Everything happens for a reason and we can turn a situation of something so negative and something bad … and really turn it into something positive," Deng said. "… We could turn this positive where people could benefit from it."
Sep 25, 2014 12:42 AM EDT
Free agent center Dexter Pittman has reached an agreement on a training camp contract with the Atlanta Hawks, league sources told RealGM.
Pittman registered two regular-season games for Atlanta last season. The 6-foot-11 big man had gone to the Chicago Bulls’ training camp, and spent most of the year in the NBA D-League with Austin.
Pittman was part of the Miami Heat's NBA championship team in 2012.
As a second round pick to the Heat in 2010 out of the University of Texas, Pittman has averaged 2.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in his four NBA seasons.
Sep 19, 2014 5:40 PM EDT
Undrafted rookie forward Jarell Eddie has agreed to a non-guaranteed training camp contract with the Atlanta Hawks, league sources told RealGM.
Out of Virginia Tech, Eddie reached a summer league agreement with the Washington Wizards after June's NBA draft.
Eddie mulled several training camp invitations -- including from the Wizards -- before informing the Hawks of his decision earlier in the week.
As a senior at Virginia Tech, the 6-foot-7 Eddie averaged 13.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 32.6 minutes per game.
Sep 16, 2014 6:15 PM EDT
Dominique Wilkins has an interest in purchasing the Atlanta Hawks.
Wilkins declined to say whether he was one of the six current prospective buyers.
It was released in a briefing on Tuesday that Wilkins will get a statue outside Philips Arena on March 6, 2015.
Sep 14, 2014 11:33 AM EDT
Charles Grantham severed as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association from 1978 until 1995 had some interesting opinions about the issues that have faced the Atlanta Hawks in regards to race.
“When you have an entire white ownership without anyone in that room giving a different opinion, this is what you come up with,” he said. “The question is what is the sanctity of the agreement you have with the players in regards to free agency. A free agent who has paid his dues is entitled to a marketplace that has determined his value based on his ability. What we see now potentially is a grievable subject here because now I’m wondering if this was a centralized scouting report that everybody in the league had access to. We’re tainting the market for this young man.
“An apology is great but this is a grievable moment if I am standing on the other side, because it may lead to an unfair labor charge.”
The Hawks have four African-Americans in their front office with the highest-ranking being David Lee, who is senior vice president of external affairs.
Grantham would like the situations of Danny Ferry and Bruce Levenson result in change rather than a banishment.
“We have to figure out a way to deal with them directly, and in an actionable way,” he said. “Part of the action that I think is necessary in all these leagues, as long as you have an ownership that’s going to be 99 percent white, how do we integrate these types of staffs and situations? Until I see more [diversity], we’re not going to change the attitude because we haven’t changed the action. Which one do you want?”
Sep 13, 2014 1:54 PM EDT
Danny Ferry's "leave of absence" as general manager of the Atlanta Hawks will almost assuredly become permanent.
"I still wonder why in the hell he would ever paraphrase that back to ownership," one NBA general manager said. "…Maybe just say, "Potential character issues have turned up but I would still recommend we sign him for up to 'X' million. I can't believe someone would ever repeat that or go into detail like that for an ownership level meeting."
Before Ferry met with Steve Koonin on Friday to finalize his leave of absence that most inside the organization believe will become permanent, Ferry met with members of the African-American clergy in Atlanta, according to a source.
Sep 12, 2014 4:13 PM EDT
Danny Ferry has taken an indefinite leave of absence as general manager of the Atlanta Hawks, the team announced Friday.
Ferry's racial remarks toward Luol Deng in June recently became public.
Mike Budenholzer will assume control of basketball operations and will report to Steve Koonin.
Koonin released a statement.
“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. ...
"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.”
Sep 10, 2014 7:56 PM EDT
Adam Silver does not believe that the Atlanta Hawks should fire Danny Ferry as general manager due to his racially charged comments.
Silver cited Ferry's track record and the reality that he was speaking from a scouting report when making the comments toward Luol Deng.
T"he 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.
"It's a question of context ... These words, in this context, understanding the full story here, the existence of the scouting report, the fact that he was looking at the scouting report as a reference when he was making these remarks, what I'm saying is – and frankly my opinion — is that this is a team decision in terms of what the appropriate discipline is for their employee. But if I'm being asked my view, I'm saying that, based on what I know about the circumstances, I don't think it's a terminable offense."
The Hawks disciplined Ferry, but it is unclear what form of punishment he received.
Sep 10, 2014 6:49 PM EDT
Elton Brand has re-signed with the Atlanta Hawks on a one-year, $2 million deal, according to sources.
Brand averaged 5.7 points and 4.9 rebounds last season.
Sep 10, 2014 3:15 PM EDT
The position of power with the Atlanta Hawks' organization held by Michael Gearon had been neutralized by Bruce Levenson and Danny Ferry.
But Gearon was on a conference call with Ferry in June in which free agents were discussed.
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 an opportunity to pursue Anthony, but they did have a chance to sign Luol Deng.
Several sources told Yahoo that within the basketball operations, Ferry was Atlanta's biggest proponent to sign Deng.
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.
Gearon allowed Ferry to keep talking.
On Deng, Ferry said: "… For example, he can come out and be an unnamed source for a story and two days later come out and say, 'That absolutely was not me. I can't believe someone said that.'
"But talking to reporters, you know they can [believe it]."
Ferry kept going on Deng: "… Good guy in Chicago. They will tell you he was good for their culture, but not a culture setter. He played hard and all those things, but he was very worried about his bobble-head being the last one given away that year, or there was not enough stuff of him in the [team] store … kind of a complex guy."
According to the report, Ferry appears to be making his own interjections on the call and not reciting words belonging to someone else.
Atlanta Hawks Archives
Luol Deng released the following statement Tuesday in response to remarks made about him by the front office of the Hawks.
Danny Ferry said in a statement his comments about Luol Deng were from a scouting report.
Michael Gearon sent a two-page letter to Bruce Levenson on June 12, which in part called for the firing of Danny Ferry, according to a report citing the document.
The NBA will take the lead on the sale of the Hawks.
The racial reference to Luol Deng triggered at least one team owner on the call to pursue an independent investigation into how the organization operated in regard to race.
Bruce Levenson apologized for the August 2012 email, which was sent to Danny Ferry and stereotyped the differences between black and white fans in Atlanta.
Sep 06, 2014 | Marc Stein/ESPN
Gustavo Ayon prefers to remain in the NBA, but his offers from Europe have been more lucrative to date.
Shelvin Mack averaged 7.5 points, 3.7 assists (second on the team) and 2.2 rebounds in 20.4 minutes while ranking seventh in the NBA in assist/turnover ratio (3.04).
Lamar Patterson was the second round choice of the Hawks in this year's NBA draft.
Neven Spahija was most recently head coach of Cibona Zagreb (Croatia) last season.
Mike Scott has agreed upon a three-year, $10 million deal to re-sign with the Hawks.
Stephen Holt has signed a professional contract with a team in Germany.
The Nets picked Kyle Korver with the 51st overall selection in the 2003 NBA Draft and sold his draft rights to the 76ers for $125,000.
Jul 27, 2014 | Marc Stein/ESPN
The United States has a shortage of frontcourt players after both Blake Griffin and Kevin Love withdrew from participating.
Shelvin Mack has been a restricted free agent after averaging 7.5 points and 3.7 assists per game.
Jul 12, 2014 | Marc Stein/ESPN
Luol Deng is being pursued by the Heat, Suns and Hawks.
Kent Bazemore has reached agreement on a $4 million contract with the Hawks, fully guaranteed over two seasons, a league source told RealGM.
John Salmons was acquired by the Hawks to create cap space.
Thabo Sefolosha has reached agreement on a three-year, $12 million contract with the Hawks, league sources told RealGM.
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Cartier Martin averaged 5.6 points in 14.7 minutes per game last season for the Hawks while shooting 39.1 percent on three.
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