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Hawks Rumors: Thursday

The Hawks scandal is in its fifth day, and revelations continue to surface. We’ll track today’s latest developments here, and any additional updates will be added to the top of the post:

6:30pm update:

  • Portions of the audio tape from the conference call during which Ferry’s comments were made have now been released, courtesy of Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
    Read more here:

2:34pm update:

  • Raptors GM Masai Ujiri penned a piece for The Globe and Mail in which he called upon people to “measure [Ferry’s] heart” and forgive him if they believe that he made “an honest and isolated error.” “I spoke to Danny myself about this,” Ujiri wrote in part. “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.”

1:29pm update:

  • GM Danny Ferry‘s fateful remarks about Luol Deng weren’t the first racially charged statements attributed to Ferry, as SB Nation’s Tom Ziller details. Agent William Phillips told Marty McNeal of The Sacramento Bee in 2006 that Ferry, then a player for the Spurs, used an racist slur to insult Phillips client Bonzi Wells during a game in 2002, as McNeal reminded with a pair of tweets this week. Ferry called McNeal after the story ran to deny using the epithet. Commissioner Adam Silver cited Ferry’s clean track record when he said Wednesday that he didn’t think the Hawks should fire Ferry.
  • Ferry’s “smug manner” of dealing with some Hawks staffers rubbed co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. the wrong way, a source tells Michael Lee of The Washington Post. Gearon was reportedly an opponent of Ferry even before Ferry made his comments about Deng in June.
  • Steve Belkin’s departure from the Hawks ownership group a few years ago left Bruce Levenson with a stake representing close to 60% of the franchise, a source tells TNT’s David Aldridge. That seems to conflict with a report we passed along Tuesday from Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution indicating that Levenson doesn’t own a majority of the team. Levenson was acting as the controlling owner of the Hawks until this past weekend, when he announced that he was selling his share after the revelation of a racially charged 2012 email.

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