The Atlanta Hawks announced on their team website, that they have hired Danny Ferry to be the club’s new President Of Basketball Operations and General Manager. The former General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, will replace Rick Sund, who is stepping down from the position and has yet to decide whether he will retire or remain with the franchise in an advisory role. Ferry who resigned as Cavaliers General Manager at the end of the 2010 campaign, has spent the last two-years as Vice President Of Basketball Operations.
The former NBA forward, who spent most of his playing career with Cleveland, was hired as the Cavaliers General Manager, in the Spring of 2005 and constructed a roster that would reach the 2007 NBA Finals, the only time in the history of the franchise that they advanced to the Association’s Championship round. Cleveland, went down in four straight games to the San Antonio Spurs, however the club would remain a power in the Eastern Conference, for the next few seasons.
The Cavaliers would have the best regular season records in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 campaigns and perceived as the favorites to win the Finals, heading into the Playoffs in both seasons. Cleveland would fall short of reaching the Big Dance both years, losing to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009, then lost to the Boston Celtics in the East semi-final round in 2010.
With All-Star forward LeBron James, heading into Free Agency and rumors that James and head coach Mike Brown were not on the same page, Cavaliers Team Owner fired Brown, in a last-ditch effort to keep their star on the roster. Ferry, disagreed with Gilbert’s move and resigned as the team’s General Manager; while the dismissal of Brown did not keep James from taking his talents to South Beach.
Hawks Co-Owner Bruce Levenson issued a statement on the hiring of their new President Of Basketball Operations. Levenson said “Over the past nine years Danny Ferry has earned tremendous respect as a front office executive in the NBA. “His philosophy, character, and commitment to creating enduring and successful organizations exemplify exactly what we are looking for in a leader of the Atlanta Hawks. Danny’s systematic and value driven approach has helped him become one of the preeminent minds in basketball. He is passionate about building an organization the right way, knows how to win and knows how to forge winning teams. We look forward to having him as our leader of basketball operations.”
Ferry, also issued a statement expressing his enthusiasm for the challenge ahead. He said “My family and I are thrilled to join the Hawks organization and Atlanta community. There were many components that made this the right fit for me but clearly my confidence in the ownership group and their dedication to building a Championship caliber franchise was most important. They are committed to building with the right people and investing in critical areas for development; both essential elements if we want to create sustained success.”
I covered Ferry, both as a player and in his first two years as the General Manager of the Cavaliers and can truthfully say, that he has always been a consummate professional. He is a bright, articulate and knowledgeable man, as well as a man of principles, as he showed when he resigned his position with the Cavaliers, after Brown’s firing. Atlanta made a very smart choice in handing over the keys to the franchise to him, as they look to make the leap to the next level.