Regarding a GM, what should the Hawks do?

Back in the day. (Jason Getz/AJC photo)

Back in the day. (Jason Getz/AJC photo)

Today’s AJC attempts to address the thorny question: What will the Atlanta Hawks do for a general manager? Technically they have one — here’s where it gets thorny, as you know — but Danny Ferry has done no GM’ing since Sept. 12. He has been on a self-imposed leave of absence.

Even as they were winning a franchise-best 60 games, the Hawks did their best to distance themselves from Ferry — indeed, from the entire Ferry matter. (Never mind that he’d built the roster that would win 60 games.) The team was in the process of being sold, and since the disgraced current ownership could agree on nothing and ultimately fractured over Ferry, it was left to the new owner to decide.

The Hawks are about to get a new owner in Antony Ressler. Part of his ownership group will be the former NBA player Grant Hill, who is, like Ferry, a former Duke player. It’s believed Hill will be named team president. (He has no personnel experience.) It’s whispered that, in preliminary discussions with incumbent Hawks executives, the Ressler camp has evinced no inclination to keep Ferry.

Who has, since Sept. 12, said nothing on the record. He has tried to make peace with some of those who were distressed by his spoken/read-aloud reference to Luol Deng, but the raging consensus is that no new ownership group would want to squander its honeymoon period trying to justify the continuing employment of a GM it didn’t hire.

Trouble is, Danny Ferry isn’t just a GM. He’s the best GM the Hawks have ever had. Counting his time in Cleveland, he has assembled three 60-win teams, and his built-to-suit-LeBron Cavaliers couldn’t have been different from his all-for-one Hawks. There’s great sentiment among fans to bring him back, and I would have no argument if that happened. But I don’t think it will.

Nor do I believe Mike Budenholzer, who serves as the interim GM, will be made the permanent GM. He’s a coach by trade, and a good one. (The NBA’s 2015 coach of the year, if you hadn’t heard.) But the jobs are too different for one man to do both well. Even Gregg Popovich, Budenholzer’s mentor, had to cede GM duties to the capable R.C. Buford, and Popovich had been San Antonio’s general manager before he became its coach.

So: What should/will the Hawks do? In today’s AJC, the guess was that they’d hire someone from outside who isn’t as good as Ferry. (Yes, this is a very Hawk-like dilemma.) But here’s where you get to make a guess of your own.

Reader Comments 0

131 comments
Rijker
Rijker

The general consensus in the Hawks organization regarding this rumor, peddled by Bradley and carried by Rotoworld and HoopsHype, is that Bradley literally has no clue what's going on. The 24th is 2 weeks away - can't wait to see Bradley proved wrong.

phoenixsoul84
phoenixsoul84

Ferry built this team, hired the coach, said something idiotic, and went above and beyond in doing his time.  If Ferry can't be forgiven after everything that has transpired, then I don't know a person in the history of grown men making ill-advised statements that can. #forgiveness

BobDawg
BobDawg

Remember that Danny Ferry came here when the "Spirit" group were the owners… Remember that Coach Bud came here (by way of DF) when the Spirit group were owners…. This place was a desert island and they came here and transformed the team into a Billion Dollar investment for the new owners…They should be groveling in their shoes and keep these guys , not jettisoning them now. Make the hard/tough and correct decision here!  

Tjeinc
Tjeinc

Danny Ferry made a mistake & has taken full responsibility. Not many people are aware of this but his sister is married to an African American. I find it ironic that Kevin Hart is booked at Philips Arena for 3 concerts by the ownership, Mr. Koonin, etc..... and they seem ok with Mr. Hart using the n word numerous times during his show but will not forgive Danny Ferry on a report he read. Sure seems like a double standard...... Come on Mr. Ressler, you're better than this. Let Danny Ferry finish what he started!

David McCallum
David McCallum

Keep Danny Ferry as GM but scrap the San Antonio module. That was one of the most overrated concepts of the season. I think what got lost in the Spurs comparison was the superstar element of Tim Duncan. Make no mistake about it, Duncan remains a superstar at this stage in his career, especially when compared to what the Hawks have.

DanJohn
DanJohn

If the Hawks let Danny Ferry go then they're stupid! How many GM's could get rid of the contracts of Johnson & Marvin Williams? He even has NJ lower pick in this years draft. I don't think the man's a racist if he is then he will put his foot in his mouth again and then you can fire him. Let him finish the job he started if you bring in someone else then the team will suffer. He paid his dues this year by stepping out of the job. KEEP HIM!

1337S0lja
1337S0lja

@DanJohn If Danny goes then I hope Bud goes too because he deserves better than this city full of idiots who are only trying to advance their political agendas.  It also shows how powerful special interest groups are.

Rijker
Rijker

He's reconciled with Deng, he's apologized to everyone, he's met with respected community leaders to atone for his mistake and learn from it. He has done everything to correct this mistake AND he is the main catalyst behind the Hawks success.


Vote with your dollar. If Ferry is gone, so are my season tickets. 

Pistol66
Pistol66

@Rijker  That's my reality too! Don't let the AJC run the Hawks!  We now have a relevant team for the first time in decades and a legitimate shot at the title. Don't jeopardize that!

Kelvin
Kelvin

As an Afican American and longtime Hawks fan I say bring Ferry back. All of us at one time or another have said some things we regret. You don't judge a person entire character for one comment. I know people do it all the time but we shouldn't. He made a mistake, apologized for it, now let's move on. Firing Ferry would fit right in with the other dumb mistakes in the history of the Hawks and Atlanta sports in general. We've got a chance to build on something special here, but as the Cleveland series has shown we have plenty of work to do. We need the GM who put this vision in place to be allowed to continue to build on whet he started. He seems to know what he is doing. Let him continue to do his job.

eastsidebaby
eastsidebaby

 It would be pretty dumb to keep ferry imo it would be very hard to attract free agents to somebody that already has dirt on their name. Not everybody has the same opinion about this man some people won't forgive him and some will but if I'm new ownership I'm not taking the chance with him being my face to bring in superstars and/or role players. I give ferry credit but I think he is overrated we still lack a big man, the bench was expose, and we still need somebody that can rebound and create their own shot. Yeah this team won 60 games in the regular season in a WEAK east than fell apart in the playoffs and idc that we won 2 series that was not the same team that won 19 straight. Do what's best for the team and organization and not what a couple fans feel.

58Supersports
58Supersports

@eastsidebaby  If a FA didn't want to come to Hawks over something Ferry said in past and not play on a  winning team which is 98% minority then to he!! with them. But as someone said, money talks and Ferry has been fair to all players. Win and they will come! Bring Ferry back...

johnjoepaper
johnjoepaper

I was wondering who wrote the original scouting report that Ferry read from. Who was it and did that person get fired? If just reading it out loud is a firing offense - what could they possibly do to the person who wrote it?

LADawg
LADawg

I couldn't care less about the NBA. The only NBA games I watched this year were the Hawks after the first round because they are Atlanta's team and I got caught up in their winning. After the first game, I was drawn to watch the next all the way to the last second in Cleveland. I won't watch another NBA game until about this time next year if the Hawks are in the hunt.

Ferry created an outlier when it comes to Hawks history. To fire him to kiss up to people who make a living finding things to be "offended" about will bring the Hawks back to normal. In that case, I won't live long enough to watch another NBA game.

Peachs
Peachs

Ferry read those comments and immediately Levenson trying to recover from his own honest but dumb comments about the Hawks impossible situation throws Ferry under the bus. The truth is Ferry will be hired by someone and that someone will come back here to haunt us which is exactly how most of these Atlanta sport's stories end up. We are too much wanna bes to think for ourselves, and this is one of those moments everybody will see clearly years from now and declare how stupid we are.  

Pistol66
Pistol66

In a world where Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner gets the ESPN courage award, why would we be amazed if the Hawks get rid of their best GM in the last 20 years!  He hired the Coach of the Year in the NBA and put together a team that got to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in decades! This is insane to even consider removing him! The new owners need to be very careful with this or they will jeopardize the record attendance and massive fan support that the Hawks enjoyed this season! DO NOT LISTEN TO THE PC POLICE! The vast majority of fans want him back! Just tell the Mayor and other critics to just shut up and enjoy his free seats!

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

Just curious - how many of the people who want Ferry gone would have no problem with Chris Paul playing for the Hawks?  His remarks about only wanting to play for a black coach were just as racist, if not more so, than anything Ferry ever said.  I guess Paul wouldn't play here anyway unless we made a coaching change based strictly on the skin color of the coach.

I wouldn't hire a coach or GM because of their skin color or their personal philosophy. Just like I don't go to a concert because I agree with the philosophy of the performer(s).  I go because I like their music.

JackClemens
JackClemens

Andrew Young says forgive and forget. I'll go with that.

SouthernSmooth
SouthernSmooth

Ferry's remarks were incredibly insensitive and tactless for a GM.  His lack of a filter really bothers me.


On a positive note, he has done an outstanding job as GM.  This franchise is in it's best shape ever. This offseason is critical but I think the future is bright.  


I'd like to see Ferry return but he needs to address the fans and league and atone for his remarks.

JohnD101
JohnD101

@SouthernSmooth Lack of a filter?? He was reading from a document in a 'private' meeting.  If you are one of the .1% of people in the world who never use a characterization in a private conversation - and I might be a little to high  with that percentage -that's remarkable.  However, keep in mind that if you refer to something as 'redneck', 'ghetto', 'liberal', 'ultra-conservative', 'religious right', or any other common characterization, you're potentially in the same boat with Ferry - I know I am. 


The hyper-news cycle and the everything out the twitterverse world of today, makes it easy for anyone with an agenda to twist words and mis-characterize who someone is.   


Was Ferry's remark insensitive -possibly?   But in the context in which it was used - it was far from racist. 

WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR
WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR

The Hawks should fire Danny Ferry, gut the team, and start over with free agents and draft picks.  This current roster is done.  The national embarrassment against Cleveland proved that.

WW5
WW5

i don't believe ferry is a racist, however, he was too stupid to temper his words on a phone conference call.  he needs to go.

RangeRover
RangeRover

@WW5

End a stellar career over some insensitive analogy on a conference call?  We've taken this "racist" thing too far, and both blacks and whites are in agreement on this.

Take a chill pill, dude!

JackClemens
JackClemens

@RangeRover @WW5 Andrew Young says forgive and forget. That's good enough for me. Should be good enough for 'Nique, too.

NorthCape
NorthCape

nique doesn't want ferry back---he calls the shots

WhopperDawg
WhopperDawg

It is a no brainer to keep Ferry. As because it is so screamingly obvious, true to historical Hawk fan, they won't keep him, hire someone worse and start the slide back to whence they came.

I hate to think this may have been the peak, but it every well may have been. 

WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR
WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR

@WhopperDawg  The rest of the NBA would like to see Ferry stay with the Hawks because they won't compete next year with the Cavs, Bulls, Celtics, Pacers, Wizards, and Bucks.  Stay pat again and see how far you go with this roster.

FalconUGAFan
FalconUGAFan

Keep Ferry. Made a bonehead mistake, but did his time.

ChopChamps95
ChopChamps95

I would like to believe the new ownership group has brains and will do the right thing unlike that clusterfuk of @$$hats they had before.  Ferry should return and I'd vote for them to erect of statue of him outside of Philips simply for dumping Joe Johnson's atrocious contract in someone else's lap.

makitabrad
makitabrad

Ferry hired Bud and assembled this talent.  If he can continue his success as the Hawks GM, all will be forgiven.  Wins will make everything else go away.  KEEP FERRY!!!

Rick_James
Rick_James

It would be insane to not bring back Danny Ferry.

southsideboy
southsideboy

Why would a successful businessman who paid $750 million bring back someone as polarizing as Ferry.  It would immediately alienate a portion of the community and the Hawks can not afford that.  Too much baggage.

Dis custed
Dis custed

@southsideboy Because Andrew Young says so and oh yea he's built a winner ( sure nobody cares about that )

WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR
WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR

@makitabrad @southsideboy  The Falcons kept Mike Smith a year too long after he failed miserably in the NFC championship game.  Same here with Ferry.  The Hawks slide in 2016 will be epic, watch and see.

JackClemens
JackClemens

@southsideboy What portion is that? The 6 percent in the poll who say go with someone else? Andrew Young says forgive and forget.

makitabrad
makitabrad

@southsideboy REALLY???  No forgiveness.  I guess 89% of the fans would not be alienated based on the poll.  In addition, Ferry hired Bud and assembled this talent.  If he can continue his success as the Hawks GM, all will be forgiven.  Wins will make everything else go away.