Oy! This keeps getting worse and there are far more layers to the story of the Atlanta Hawks, owner Bruce Levinson, G.M Danny Ferry and others than anyone knew.
The latest is Friday's revalation: Ferry is taking an indefinite leave of absence from his job. And he is taking it on the heels of the disputed scouting report that got him in trouble in the 1st place was leaked to Atlanta TV Station WSB.
You can read the report in question RIGHT HERE (bottom of pg 2 is interesting stuff)
We are pretty sure the report, which is heavily redacted, came from bitter minority owner Michael Gearon Jr, who has been the source of most of the leaks coming out in this story. It's common knowledge in the Atlanta sports community that you could get info from him about the Atlanta Spirit that the others won't release.
That doesn't excuse what was said in the report, which is a very offensive characterization of Luol Deng. Though the rest of the report apparently speaks pretty highly of him. Deng, who was being recruited to join the Hawks, eventually spurned their interest and signed with the Miami Heat.
Ferry likely does not have a future in Atlanta. Agree, disagree or otherwise with what he said and how it got released, there's no excuse for it being put out there. None.
If you aren't from Atlanta, this is perhaps the worst place ever for something like this to happen. He (Ferry) will never escape this as long as he stays. It won't be forgotten.
Our guess is by October the Hawks have a new G.M, by next year a new owner. And by the end of the season a similar result to the past 7 or 8 seasons, good--not great, out in the first round of the playoffs.
Ferry released a statement Friday afternoon through via the Hawks website:
"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.
Luol is a good man who I have known for many years and he has done a tremendous amount of good for his country and around the world. I apologize to Luol and I apologize to all that I have offended. As I have said, while these were not my words, I deeply regret repeating them. Almost all the background information I provided during the lengthy presentation regarding Luol was positive and my personal and professional recommendation during the call was very much in favor of adding Luol to our team but I never should have uttered those offensive remarks and for that I apologize.
My focus moving forward is to tirelessly work to rebuild trust with this community and with our fans. I realize that my words may ring hollow now and my future actions must speak for me. I will maximize my time during this leave to meet with community leaders and further educate myself and others on the extremely sensitive issues surrounding race, diversity, and inclusion. I will find a way to make a positive difference in this area, and further learn from the sensitivity training that I will go through.”