UPDATE ---- In a story posted to Yahoo! Sports by Adrian Wojnarowski, transcripts appear to show that the alleged source of the comments about Deng did not come from the Cavaliers. Ferry's former apprentice, Chris Grant, traded for Deng shortly before he was relieved of his duties as Cavs GM.
That article can be found here.
It's not a good summer to be a former Cavaliers GM. Just recently, reports suggested that David Griffin's former boss and predecessor as GM Chris Grant was in fact a massive jerk. For HIS former boss Danny Ferry -- who preceded him as GM -- things have gotten a whole lot worse.
If you have not been paying attention, Atlanta Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson self reported a racially charged e-mail he sent out in regards in to why or why not fans might be attending Hawks games. He has said he will be selling his stake in the franchise.
Later it was reported that the root of the investigation was Ferry himself reading a racial remark off of a scouting report on former Cavalier Luol Deng.
Our sister blog Peachtree Hoops has done a great job covering this and deserves your attention. If you need to catch up on the story to this point then head on over.
Late this evening, Ferry may have lost any shred of plausible deniability he had left. Channel 2 News of Atlanta's Sports Director Zach Klein obtained a June letter from Hawks minority owner Michael Gearon Jr. to Levenson, and the full context of Ferry's remarks are brought to light. According to Gearon, Ferry said of Deng:
"he has a little African in him, not in a bad way, but he's a guy who would have a nice store out front, but sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back."
Reading that, I can't say what it means, or what Ferry was thinking. It doesn't make any sense. Regardless of the origin, Ferry did something incredibly moronic at it's very best or downright disgusting at it's very worst. Even if you're reading off of a page, when you read something horrible, you tend to stop and correct yourself. It is fair to assume that Ferry had no such second thought, as we continue with Gearon:
"We were appalled that anyone would make such a racist slur under any circumstance, much less the GM of an NBA franchise on a major conference call. One of us can be heard on the tape reacting with astonishment"
To reiterate: I am not assigning any motive or trying to read Ferry's mind at all. I have no idea what his intent was. Whatever he intended to happen, he spoke in a way that a team owner who works with him somewhat closely was repulsed by his actions.
"We are calling on you, as majority owner and NBA governor, to take swift and severe action against general manager Danny Ferry. Our advisors tell us there is no other choice to ask for Ferry's resignation and if he refuses, to terminate him for cause under his employment contract."
The full letter can be found here, and you should definitely read it.
I hate sounding like a broken record, but I cannot reiterate enough that I don't want to assume to know what was going through Ferry's head, or where the words even came from. Independent of that, he still comes out a loser and will almost assuredly be fired in the near future. The social climate of the NBA at the moment can tolerate nothing less and whether by naivety, ignorance, or downright hate Ferry has committed a Taboo and will be severely punished for it. Where this leaves his NBA career is anyone's guess. His work in Cleveland was uninspiring, and his two seasons in Atlanta -- while promising -- have yielded two mediocre basketball teams. He's been around the NBA forever, and will probably (and very quietly) show up in a front office somewhere, but it could be a very long time before he is running the show again.
For more on this, I will again suggest you give the guys at Peachtree a read. If anything involving the Cavs comes up, we'll be sure to have it for you.