Danny Ferry probably isn't long for his job with the Atlanta Hawks

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Danny Ferry probably isn't long for his job with the Atlanta Hawks
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  • Danny Ferry
    American professional basketball player and general manager
  • Luol Deng
    Luol Deng
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I’ve got a lot of Mick in me.

I’m prone to bouts of depression, and I have a hair-trigger temper that tends to lash out in the face of those who don’t tip well or use turn signals. Sometimes I overindulge. I can write, but I can’t tan. If you’re looking for a ruddy-faced stereotype, I’m your Mick.

Of course, if you call me that, or mention to others that “Dwyer has a lot of Mick in him,” your nose is about to meet my forehead. I’m the only one who is allowed to say it. Just me.

This is where Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry screwed up. And this is why he probably won’t be the Hawks GM once the 2014-15 season rolls around. And this is why such a removal might be in the best interests for all involved.

According to reports, in a phone conference detailing the Hawks’ interest in free agent swingman Luol Deng, Ferry was heard relaying a quote that stated that Deng “has a little African in him, not in a bad way, but he's a guy who would have a nice store out front, but sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back."

Not in a bad way, just in an illegal way. You know, typical African stuff.

What this description even means is anyone’s guess. Whoever actually penned this particular version of the scouting report is up for anyone’s guess. It could have come from a Hawks scout, a member of the same Chicago Bulls franchise that completely sold out Deng after a botched spinal tap procedure, or a Cleveland Cavaliers staffer still employed after last season’s front office overhaul.

The source is sickening enough, but it’s the oversight that matters most. Danny Ferry is where the buck should have stopped, and he failed in his authoritative role.

Ferry comes from sound pedigree. His father Bob was a longtime NBA executive with the former Washington Bullets, he is a Duke graduate, and he worked his way into his own executive career after working under Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford in San Antonio. His first turn as a full-on GM in Cleveland was a misspent five years, but he has created an entertaining team in Atlanta, one that should grow into a second-round mainstay as the years move along.

Danny Ferry won’t be around for such growth, or at the very least he shouldn’t be, because of this astonishing lack of principle when it came to discussing Luol Deng’s merits in the presence of his bosses – one of whom, minority owner Michael Gearon, has already called for his firing. The fact that Ferry is not a back-slappin’ good ole boy hardly matters here. What counts is the mentality that tells an NBA executive that it’s passable to discuss a player and more importantly a person in these terms and think that it’s just fine.

As we discussed on Monday, Luol Deng is an absolute saint. The Sudanese-born forward is also a Duke product, he is as selfless as players come, and he remains a dutiful teammate and leader.

His African heritage should be a point of pride, as should be the source of all of our respective lineages. To refer to it as some sort of positive slur – some mishandled, “no, that’s a good thing!” – is beyond insulting. Especially when, as any good basketball scout will tell you, Luol Deng hardly fits the mantle of some back-alley, counterfeit cheat.

To refer to any basketball player along these terms even if they do toss the occasional elbow or dirty screen, whether they come from Spokane or southwest Dallas, is wrong. That scout was wrong, and Ferry was completely out of his gourd for relaying the scout’s thoughts. His front office and ownership group gathered in anticipation of paying Luol Deng eight figures a year to work for their basketball club, a perfect salve for both ends of the ball for that growing Hawk squad, and Ferry decided to utilize this line as an attribute?

It’s an astonishing misstep from somebody that should know better. The Ferry family should always have a place in the NBA, Danny has earned as much, but that doesn’t mean the Hawks owe him one after this. This is an unacceptable brand of leadership.

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Kelly Dwyer

is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!