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Monday, December 16, 2019

Ex-mayor of Atlanta Andrew Young backs Danny Ferry return

Danny Ferry Hawks

The last thing the Atlanta Hawks need right now is their general manager getting in the way.

Off to their best record since the days of Dominique Wilkins, the Hawks sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 43-11 record. And they’ve done it with GM Danny Ferry on a leave of absence and a big ‘For Sale’ sign outside of team headquarters.

Ferry found himself in hot water when his off-color remarks about then-free agent Luol Deng surfaced last September. The insensitive comments came just days after owner Bruce Levenson decided he would sell his stake in the team after he self-reported a racist email of his own. The remaining shareholders later decided to give up their stake in the team as well, leaving 100 percent of the team for sale.

While Ferry has not been able to enjoy his team’s success in person, count former Atlanta mayor and civil rights activist Andrew Young as one of Ferry’s supporters. Young has been a mainstay in Atlanta for over 50 years going back to his time as a close confidante of Martin Luther King Jr. When asked by WSB-TV’s Zach Klein if Ferry should lose his job, his response was unequivocal.

“Hell no. He put the guys together and they are winning. They are winning better than the Hawks have won back in the days of Lenny Wilkens and Bob Pettit.”

Ferry may have helped put the team together, but he hasn’t been around the team since taking his indefinite leave of absence in September. If it was up to Young, however, Ferry would have never left in the first place.

“Danny Ferry is too talented a guy and his life is basketball,” Young said. “He’s going to be general manager somewhere. I hope it’s Atlanta.”

While commissioner Adam Silver noted that the sale of the franchise is “moving along on course” during NBA All-Star Weekend, the timing couldn’t be worse for a Ferry return.

The Hawks, who in January became the first team ever to go 17-0 in a calendar month, need to be the center of attention. Any outside distractions could mess up their mojo and have them playing like the Hawks we’ve been used to for all these years.



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