Under fire for making racially charged comments about a player, Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry took an indefinite leave of absence Friday.
Hawks CEO Steve Koonin had resisted calls for Ferry to be dismissed, but said the 47-year-old GM asked for the leave.
Ferry issued a statement saying he plans to undergo sensitivity training and meet with local leaders. He gave no indication that he plans to step down.
Ferry made an inflammatory assessment of Luol Deng during a conference call with the Hawks’ ownership group in June as the team was pursuing the free agent. The GM described Deng as someone who “has a little African in him.”
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“He’s like a guy who would have a nice store out front and sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back,” Ferry said on the call, which was recorded.
Movie star Dirk
A large contingent of Dallas Mavericks players and front office staff will fly to Germany next week for the premiere of a movie featuring power forward Dirk Nowitzki.
The name of the documentary, which premieres Thursday, is Nowitzki: Der Perfekte Wurf. In English that translates into Nowitzki: The Perfect Shot.
The documentary chronicles how Nowitzki rose to become a 12-time NBA All-Star while leading the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA title. It also features the role of Holger Geschwindner, Nowitzki’s longtime mentor and coach who helped develope him into a superstar.
Mavericks center Tyson Chandler and guards Monta Ellis and Devin Harris are among the players who will attend the premiere in Germany. Coach Rick Carlisle and former Mavericks players Michael Finley and Brian Cardinal are among others who will attend.
Owner Mark Cuban, President Barack Obama, comedian Conan O’Brien, ex-NBA commissioner David Stern, and Los Angeles Lakers guards Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash have appearances in the documentary, which is directed by Sebastian Dehnhardt.
Dehnhardt also directed the movie Klitschko released in 2011 about German boxing brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko.
Randle promotes cure
Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, taken seventh overall in last June’s NBA Draft, didn’t waste time lending his name to a worthy cause.
The 6-foot-9 Plano native will host the two-day Julius Randle Cure Cancer Jam Basketball Tournament on Sept. 27-28 at the Lifetime Fitness Center in Plano and at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano.
The 3-on-3 basketball tournament is open for both boys and girls from the fourth grade through adults, and will help raise funds and awareness for TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation and its effort to find a cure for childhood cancers.
For more information and to register go to www.teamconnor.org/event/cure-cancer-jam-2014/.