Billy King, who played with Danny Ferry at Duke and has been a lifelong friend, on Thursday issued a statement to Zach Lowe of Grantland. Ferry is in the midst of a bit of controversy after a transcript and then audio tape surfaced of the Hawks' GM making an insensitive comment about Luol Deng.
Statement from Billy King, Nets GM, to Grantland on Danny Ferry coming in next tweet. King went to Duke with Ferry.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) September 12, 2014
King on Ferry: "I have known him since we were 15 years old. He is like a brother to me and he is the furthest thing from a racist."— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) September 12, 2014
Ferry's position as GM has become increasingly untenable as more and more comes out about his comments regarding Luol Deng during a conference call last June. Specifically, Ferry said of Deng, then a free agent, that "He's still a young guy, overall. He's a good guy overall, but not perfect. He's got some African in him. And I don't consider that in a bad way."
On Thursday night, the Altanta Journal-Constitution posted a partial audio of the conference call, which increased calls for his resignation.
King and Ferry played at Duke in 1987 and 1988 with King the defensive stalwart and Ferry the scorer. They got to the Final Four in 1988. King moved into the front office, first with Indiana, then Philly, before Mikhail Prokhorov hired him as GM. Ferry played 13 years in the NBA before moving into the Cavaliers front office. After leaving Cleveland in June 2010, he applied for the Nets job the next month, then dropped his bid when he learned King was also being interviewed. He surfaced with the Hawks in 2011. Bob Ferry, Danny's father, is a regional scout for the Nets. Bob Ferry is a two-time winner of the NBA Executive of the Year award.
King and Ferry pulled off one of the biggest trades in recent memory when the Nets shipped six players and a first round pick to Atlanta for Joe Johnson in July 2012.
- Nets GM Billy King: Danny Ferry ‘is the furthest thing from a racist’ - Brett Pollakoff - NBC Sports
- King defends embattled Hawks GM - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Billy King says Danny Ferry "furthest thing from a racist" - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Billy King And David Aldridge Defend Danny Ferry - DIME