Hawks GM Danny Ferry doesn’t believe it’s possible that he’d return to his job under new ownership, sources tell TNT’s David Aldridge, who writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com. Ferry has been on an indefinite leave of absence since September, shortly after controlling owner Bruce Levenson announced plans to sell the team that stemmed from a racially insensitive email that he wrote in 2012. The scandal enveloped Ferry when the racially charged remarks he read about Luol Deng during a conference call in June became public.
Completion of a sale is still several months away, Aldridge writes, and that jibes with a report from a month ago that indicated that the sale process was slow-going, with the size of the portion of the team up for sale still unclear. Regardless of who owns the franchise, the chance that Ferry returns at any point to his job is “microscopic,” Aldridge writes, echoing similar verbiage from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Ferry has nonetheless picked up widespread support around the league, with Al Horford the latest to defend the executive’s character, as Aldridge details. Aldridge also heard from Kyle Korver, who reiterated his faith in the Hawks and Ferry. Still, the public pressure is on, and the Rev. Markel Hutchins, an Atlanta civil rights leader who served as the spokesman for a dozen civil rights groups that met with the Hawks earlier this year in the wake of the incident, told Aldridge that he’d be “extremely disappointed” if Ferry returned.
Coach Mike Budenholzer has been serving in a dual role as acting GM since Ferry took his leave, with help, as Aldridge points out, from assistant GM Wes Wilcox and senior adviser Rick Sund, who preceded Ferry as Hawks GM.