Brooklyn Nets Rumors: Danny Ferry For GM?
With the Brooklyn Nets out of the playoff picture and victories few and far in between (If anyone bet on the Oklahoma City Thunder losing to the Nets in Vegas, can I have $500? Now you can afford it!) the only thing Brooklyn Nets fans have to look forward to is reading about all the Brooklyn Nets rumors, from the coaching search to the endless trail of hearsay until the trade deadline passes. But all of these Brooklyn Nets rumors is tied to one big event that has to take place…
The General Manager search.
It is now past two weeks since the Brooklyn Nets fired Lionel Hollins as head coach and “reassigned” Billy King to another position in the organization. There is no timetable for a GM to be hired (smart move considering the odds going forward) and a coaching search will begin only AFTER the GM is in place. If you have any questions why these steps are in place just reflect back to last week when the Cleveland Cavaliers put the cart before the horse hiring David Blatt two weeks before LeBron James decided to return. For the Brooklyn Nets to succeed in anything going forward, EVERYTHING must be in order and EVERYONE must be on the same page.
The search is more detailed than most fans realize here, The Nets can go out and interview any candidate they want who is currently out of the NBA (Sidebar here: Brooklyn Nets… I am available!) not attached to another NBA team. For people in the NBA, such as R.C. Buford of the San Antonio Spurs for example, they have to get permission to talk to them from their respective teams. The problem is that most candidates the Nets would want are from good teams. More than likely, candidates are tied up at the moment.
So far, there are only two NBA executives not working that are floating out in NBA circles that makes any sense. Those two guys are Bryan Colangelo and Danny Ferry. Colangelo has been rumored as the leader in the clubhouse so far. Others think that Danny Ferry has the lead by a nose, and is the topic of discussion and gets the spotlight in the middle of the Brooklyn Nets rumors now.
If you take a long look at Danny Ferry’s resume, this is the guy for the job. Before we get into the cons of hiring a guy that has enough baggage to put every Louis Vuitton store in New York out of business, let’s take a look at what Ferry can do for a team that is stinking up the NBA, has no future draft picks, and, according to Forbes, is the only team operating at a loss thanks to that $123-million luxury tax bill by predecessor Billy King.
A rumor floating around is that the Nets will wish upon a star and try to land R.C. Buford, the General Manager of the San Antonio Spurs. If that is the case, and they don’t get him (which I highly doubt), what better consolation prize than Danny Ferry? Remember, Ferry spent time in the Spurs organization as the assistant General Manager. If anyone knows the Spurs’ way of constructing a team it would be Danny Ferry.
I mean, you’ve seen the man’s work. It’s down in Atlanta. Before Ferry got to town, the Hawks were a cap-strapped team that was mediocre and with no improvement in sight. Does this sound familiar?
The Hawks were a perennial playoff team that was constructed to go no further than maybe the second round and had no chance against any team that had LeBron James on it. The attendance was on the decline and fan apathy was about to seep in. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Then Danny Ferry came in and went to work. Ferry found a taker (being very kind here) to take on Joe Johnson’s $124-million contract to clear a ton of cap space. He also shocked a ton of people and fired Larry Drew, who had just guided the team to the playoffs, and replaced him with current head coach Mike Budenholzer, who brought the Spurs’ way of doing things he learned under Gregg Popovich. Then he surprised others by letting Josh Smith go bye-bye to the Detroit Pistons and started building the team around team-first players like Kyle Korver, Al Horford, and signing Paul Millsap from Utah for less money. Then, with allowing of the development of Jeff Teague, and the Hawks were the number-one seed in the Eastern Conference last year.
The cons of hiring Danny Ferry was the reason he wasn’t around to enjoy the fruits of his labor. The Atlanta Hawks had already distanced themselves from Ferry due to racially insensitive comments he read from a scouting report. The words were not his but he read them at the worst time a few months after the NBA was dealing with the Donald Sterling fiasco.
Here’s a snippet of what he read here…
“He’s got some African in him”…”He’s like a guy who would have a nice store out front and sell you counterfeit stuff out the back.”
Couple that with then-owner, Bruce Levenson, discussing in his own words in an email how the Hawks could attract more white fans to Phillips Arena, the NBA forced Levenson to sell the team and the writing was on the wall for Ferry.
As bad as this is, this is the REAL reason the Brooklyn Nets have to pass on Danny Ferry…
Can we ever get away from this guy? According to many sources, including ESPN, Ferry’s biggest supporter is Billy King, the guy that the Nets are trying to replace. Billy King continues to advise (aka, be the de facto GM that is making the decisions) after vacating the job on January 10th.
If Danny Ferry gets this job, the Brooklyn Nets will be in the same quagmire that they were two weeks ago.
Part of the Nets’ issues stem from a small faction of people surrounded by Billy King making poor decisions that set the franchise back. If employees weren’t in that circle, their opinion didn’t matter and was not welcome. If the matter was pushed, they were put in vicarious positions jobwise. It’s kind of like a NBA version of Mean Girls, just grown men.
The Nets have to get away from the Billy King era, which means passing on the guy that King described as a brother.
In spite of the won-loss record, the dysfunction, and embarrassment, the Nets actually have a laundry list of qualified applicants for both the head coach and General Manager gigs (I did say I was available, right?), but if the franchise really cares about turning this around, Danny Ferry is not the guy to do it.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Brooklyn Nets will have a GM in place by the trade deadline.
Add that to the long list of Brooklyn Nets rumors.