The Atlanta Hawks finished 8th in the Eastern Conference last season. They were then beaten by the Indiana Pacers - 4-3 in the First Round - of the playoffs and knocked out of postseason play. But that’s not the only issue with the Atlanta squad; the team also lost Sixth Man Louis Williams during this off-season in a trade with the Toronto Raptors. And as if the Hawks couldn’t sink any deeper, they found a new way to this summer.
Mistakes at the top of the Hawks “food chain”
Reports came out this week (courtesy of Bleacher Report and AJC.com) that Hawks GM Danny Ferry made racist remarks towards then-free agent Luol Deng (who is of Sudanese descent). An audio tape was then released, which you can listen to below. Ferry said of Deng, "he's got some African in him. And I don't say that in a bad way. But he's like a guy who would have a nice store out front but sell your counterfeit stuff out of the back."
The comments come at an interesting time in not just the NBA but Pro Sports in general, especially with the Donald Sterling/LA Clippers saga in the not too distant past. Ferry has since apologized.
“No words can adequately describe my remorse for the hurt that I have caused many people through the statements I repeated, most importantly Luol Deng."
Here is the audio clip of Ferry’s Conference Call in which the comments were made
*May be OFFENSIVE to some listeners*
An attempt at self-redemption by Atlanta
Earlier this week, GM Ferry announced that he was taking an indefinite leave in addition to Atlanta Hawks Owner Bruce Levenson announcing his decision to sell his share of the team. An offensive email sent by Levenson was also discovered after an internal investigation conducted by the Hawks, which added to the list of reasons why both men jump “off” board.
This temporarily halts another “Sterling-like” situation and based on NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s comments - in which he said that he felt Ferry should not be fired - from earlier this month, it seems he would also like to avoid another trip down that road.
Personally, I agree that this is not nearly as polluting as Donald Sterling with LA mainly due to the fact that he has acknowledged and taken his own steps to remove himself from the situation.
Hopefully for Atlanta fans, the team will be able to move forward and try to improve on their playoff berth from last season.
Until then, follow this story and stick with more GiveMeSport NBA News here.