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Mazzeo: Nets should not hire Danny Ferry

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In a column for ESPN, Mike Mazzeo argues that hiring Danny Ferry would be a "mistake" because of his "negative baggage" from that 2014 racial scandal that cost him his job in Atlanta and his "lifelong" relationship with Billy King..

The "baggage" is well known, as Mazzeo writes...

Ferry ultimately stepped down from his post as GM of the Atlanta Hawks after he read a racially insensitive scouting report about potential free agent-to-be Luol Deng during a conference call with ownership.

The scouting report said that Deng -- who will face the Nets on Tuesday night at Barclays Center as a member of Miami Heat -- "has a little African in him" before adding, "He’s like a guy who would have a nice store out front and sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back."

Ferry ultimately apologized for the incident and was cleared of racial bias by an outside counsel investigation, but even the possibility of protests outside Barclays Center should give the Nets pause. Moreover, writes Mazzeo, Ferry's close relationship with King, who has recommended the Nets hire his former Duke teammate.

The concern is that if Ferry somehow managed to beat out all the other candidates -- and given King’s persuasiveness combined with [Dmitry] Razumov’s impulsiveness, you never know -- King would manage to obtain an advisory role with the Nets, retaining many of the "yes men" who have worked under him.

Bottom line for Mazzeo is that Ferry is nothing more than King 2.0.

Hopefully he has learned from his mistake -- and perhaps ends up getting a second chance, maybe in a smaller market. But if the Nets are considering Ferry, why didn’t they just keep King? There’s simply no need for all the negative baggage.

There are, indeed, conflicting reports on whether Ferry is a serious candidate for the GM job ... and whether King has much influence in the hiring process.  No matter, argues Mazzeo. It's a possibility and that warrants concern.