NBA commissioner Adam Silver told USA Today's Sam Amick that he does not believe that Danny Ferry should be fired for comments he made regarding Luol Deng on a team conference call. While Silver called Ferry's remarks "clearly inappropriate and unacceptable," he said the Hawks' internal discipline is enough given the facts he knows.
"In my view, those comments, taken alone, do not merit his losing his job," Silver told Amick.
"It's a question of context ... These words, in this context, understanding the full story here, the existence of the scouting report, the fact that he was looking at the scouting report as a reference when he was making these remarks, what I'm saying is - and frankly my opinion - is that this is a team decision in terms of what the appropriate discipline is for their employee. But if I'm being asked my view, I'm saying that, based on what I know about the circumstances, I don't think it's a terminable offense."
Ferry reportedly told Hawks minority owners that Deng "had some African in him" suggesting Deng is a con artist. Ironically, Ferry was reportedly the biggest proponent to acquiring Deng this summer within the Hawks' front office, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Deng ended up signing with the Miami Heat.
The Hawks have punished Ferry for the remarks, though the specific terms of the punishment have not been disclosed. Interim Hawks CEO Steve Koonin, who is running the franchise after majority partner Bruce Levenson stepped down for racist comments he made in a 2012 email, has firmly stated that Ferry will remain the team's GM.