From USA Today’s Sam Amick, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has commented that he does not think Ferry’s comments are a fire-able offense.
Silver said this to Amick in Spain, where he is watching the on-going FIBA World Cup tournament:
“The discipline of a team employee is typically determined by the team, and in this case the Hawks hired a prestigious Atlanta law firm to investigate the circumstances of Danny Ferry’s clearly inappropriate and unexpected remarks,” Silver said. “In my view, those comments, taken alone, do not merit his losing his job.
“It’s a question of context … These words, in this context, understanding the full story here, the existence of the scouting report, the fact that he was looking at the scouting report as a reference when he was making these remarks, what I’m saying is – and frankly my opinion — is that this is a team decision in terms of what the appropriate discipline is for their employee. But if I’m being asked my view, I’m saying that, based on what I know about the circumstances, I don’t think it’s a terminable offense.”
Ferry has been disciplined by the team, with one owner — Michael Gearon Jr. — calling for Ferry’s termination. However, as Adrian Wojnarowski wrote today, Gearon’s motivations may not be limited to Ferry’s comments over the interview.
However, with Bruce Levenson’s upcoming sale of his “controlling” portion of the team, this situation is far from over.