On Monday, ESPN writers Brian Windhorst and Kevin Arnovitz broke a major story with inside details on the controversy that embroiled the Hawks last summer and led to the team’s sale. Yesterday Windhorst appeared on Grantland’s Lowe Post podcast with Zach Lowe, provided still more details and asserted that Mike Budenholzer “grabbed the power” from Danny Ferry while the latter was seeking to be reinstated as GM.
Following is a partial transcript of the podcast segment on the Hawks, which starts at the 54 minute mark:
Zach Lowe: “The Bud-Ferry thing is fascinating because, as you said, Ferry fought for him to get hired.”
Brian Windhorst: “Before last season, Ferry goes to Bud and they talk about the situation and Bud suggests that he resign because it would be best for the team to not have a distraction hanging over them during camp and during the season.”
ZL: “Is there an element to this story at all of Bud seizing a power vacuum a little bit here? And I don’t mean that in a bad, Machiavellian way, but people around the league are curious about that angle.”
BW: “That was Spurs on Spurs violence right there. That was a Spurs family, basically, a hit really. When Danny went on leave, Mike Budenholzer became the GM essentially.”
Windhorst then describes how Ferry battled for Budenholzer’s hiring after Bud had a poor initial interview with Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson. During the 2013 NBA Finals, Ferry asked Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to speak with Levenson to try to convince him to give Budenholzer a second interview. Levenson was so impressed by Popovich’s case for Bud that he granted a second interview and eventually hired him. Continue Reading…