Former Hawks executive Danny Ferry is reportedly among the candidates who will be interviewed for the Nets’ GM job. ESPN’s Mike Mazzeo lists Ferry among the finalists for the position, along with Nuggets assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas, Rockets executive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and Nets assistant GM Frank Zanin.
Ferry served as GM and president of basketball operations in Atlanta from 2012 until 2014, when he took an indefinite leave of absence in the wake of race-related comments that he read from a scouting report on free agent Luol Deng during a conference call. “He’s a good guy overall,” Ferry allegedly said about Deng. “But he’s not perfect. He’s got some African in him. And I don’t say that in a bad way.”
The controversy quickly spread throughout the league, which was already reeling from a scandal involving racially charged comments by former Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. called for Ferry to resign or be fired, but team CEO Steve Koonin said the franchise opted for internal discipline rather than dismissal. Ferry never returned from his leave of absence and accepted a buyout with the Hawks in 2015. Deng forgave Ferry for the comments and said he didn’t consider him a racist.
The Nets’ interest in Ferry stems from his ties with former Duke teammate Billy King, who remains with the organization after being removed as GM last month. Ferry interviewed with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov for the GM post in 2010 before King was hired, and Ferry’s father, Bob Ferry, works as a scout for Brooklyn.
Danny Ferry’s record as an executive also makes him an attractive candidate. He put together the foundation of the Hawks team that won 60 games last season and claimed the top seed in the East. He also built teams that twice topped 60 wins in Cleveland, where he served as GM from 2005 to 2010.
That brings me to today’s topic: Should the Nets consider Ferry as their next GM considering what happened in Atlanta? Would free agents still hold the Deng incident against him, making them less likely to sign with Brooklyn? Or is it time to give another chance to someone who had been connected with the league for 25 years and built a long history of front office success?
Take to the comments section to share your thoughts on the matter. We look forward to what you have to say.