NBA commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t believe Danny Ferry should be fired from his job as Atlanta Hawks general manager.
Ferry is under fire for comments he made about Loul Deng when the Hawks were pursuing him during free agency over the summer.
“The discipline of a team employee is typically determined by the team, and in this case the Hawks hired a prestigious Atlanta law firm to investigate the circumstances of Danny Ferry’s clearly inappropriate and unacceptable remarks,” Silver told USA Today. “In my view, those comments, taken alone, do not merit his losing his job.
“It’s a question of context … These words, in this context, understanding the full story here, the existence of the scouting report, the fact that he was looking at the scouting report as a reference when he was making these remarks, what I’m saying is — and frankly my opinion — is that this is a team decision in terms of what the appropriate discipline is for their employee. But if I’m being asked my view, I’m saying that, based on what I know about the circumstances, I don’t think it’s a terminable offense.”
In speaking with team minority owners in June about Deng, Ferry said: “He has a little African in him. Not in a bad way, but he’s like a guy who would have a nice store out front but sell you counterfeit stuff out the back. … For example, he can come out and be an unnamed source for a story and two days later come out and say, ‘That absolutely was not me. I can’t believe someone said that.’ But talking to reporters, you know they can (believe it).”
Ferry apologized for his remarks, which he said he was reading from a scouting report.
The Hawks offered Deng a two-year, $20 million contract, but he signed with the Miami Heat.
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