Hawks hire Ferry as general manager
ATLANTA Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson says he had “dozens” of conversations with Danny Ferry over three months as the two discussed what it would take for Ferry to leave the San Antonio Spurs.
Levenson’s persistence paid off Monday as Ferry was introduced as the Hawks’ president of basketball operations and general manager.
Levenson said Ferry, 45, was the only candidate he interviewed after Rick Sund, who had been general manager for four years, suggested three months ago it was time to look for new long-term leadership for the team.
“The next morning I called the San Antonio Spurs and asked permission to talk to Danny,” Levenson said, adding Ferry was the only candidate he interviewed.
Ferry comes to the Hawks after two years as vice president of basketball operations for the Spurs. As general manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2005-2010, Ferry helped build a team that advanced to the 2007 NBA
“I was not looking to leave San Antonio,” Ferry said. “I was very happy there. ... Obviously it’s a wonderful place to work. But getting to know Bruce over the past several weeks really made me think and challenge myself. Was this the right time and the right thing for me to do?”
Ferry, who agreed to a six-year contract, said he wants the Hawks “to have a value-based identity with good guys who play hard, who play together and share the ball that can be professional on the court.”
Just like the Spurs.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Ferry’s decision to move to Atlanta should be a positive sign for Hawks fans frustrated by the team’s inability to reach the conference finals.
“You can bet it’s a serious move and it does signal a real desire to get this thing done. I think the fans can feel real good about that,” Popovich said.
Sund has agreed to work with Ferry in an informal advisory role for at least two months, including in this week’s NBA draft.
Ferry, a former standout at Duke, averaged 7.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 917 career games with Cleveland (1990-2000) and San Antonio (2000-03).
Ferry’s name also had been linked with a similar opportunity as GM with Philadelphia.
Hawks coach Larry Drew said “it’s pretty obvious” the team is looking to capitalize on Ferry’s success with the Spurs and Cavaliers.
“We’re looking to get over the hump,” Drew said. “We’ve been a team that’s knocking on the door and I think we share the common goal. We want to get to the next level and that’s going to be our focus.”
The NBA draft is Thursday and the Hawks have the No. 23 overall pick.