So less than 10 hours from the time that it took to doubt that the Atlanta Hawks would move swiftly in hiring a new general manager, they go ahead and put ink to paper with Danny Ferry. Ferry was also being courted by the Philadelphia 76ers for their open GM position, but he picked Atlanta. It is an easy assumption to say that Danny Ferry knows basketball; he played and won at famed DeMatha Catholic High School (where he was Parade Magazine's Prep Player of the Year), played under Coach K at Duke and was drafted second overall and spent most of his career in a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey (playing under Lenny Wilkens). Easy on the Lenny Wilkens jokes, the man is still a Hall of Famer.
In 2003, Ferry began to work in the San Antonio Spurs' front office and he stayed there until 2005. He left the Spurs to become the GM for the Cavaliers, where he tried to put a team around LeBron James and reached the NBA Finals in 2007; they lost to the Spurs (the irony). Ferry says that he and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert did not see eye to eye on the future of the team and Gilbert made decisions to against his wishes in an effort to keep LeBron James (we all know that effort came up empty), making Ferry walk away as his contract expired in 2010. After he left Cleveland, Ferry again found himself again in San Antonio and that is where Atlanta picked him up.
Danny Ferry follows the Rick Sund era in Atlanta and he says that he will work with Sund for the next month while he gets adjusted to the staff and begins to put his stamp on things. Yes, that means that Sund will still be in the war room come draft night. In the press conference introducing Ferry as the GM, Hawks ownership basically vowed to get out of his way and let him do his thing. Ferry expressed his want to turn the Atlanta Hawks into a more valued franchise and also stated that he would still love to be in Atlanta 12 years down the road.
Expectations are fairly low right now for Ferry as fans are just happy to get someone in office other than Rick Sund, but there is a draft coming with free agency following and the eyes of the Atlanta Hawks fans will be watching and judging. Will the Hawks go up from here or does it worse before it gets better (if it gets better at all)? Time will tell but for now Danny Ferry, welcome to Atlanta.
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