Jeff Schultz blog 

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Hawks finally get honest, Ferry takes leave

  • 4:41 pm Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Danny Ferry is taking an indefinite leave from the Hawks. (AP)

The Hawks finally got honest about something Friday: It wasn’t going to work.

It doesn’t matter what side of the debate you were on about Danny Ferry’s remarks or the (latest) continental divide in team ownership. Ferry couldn’t function as a general manager. His image had been tarnished. He had become toxic. He couldn’t operate in an organization where the managing owner who had his back (Bruce Levenson) was exiting in shame and the next most powerful partner (Michael Gearon Jr.) wanted him out.

The Hawks didn’t fire Ferry, nor did he resign. For now, the team’s general manager is in relative [More]

Silver: Ferry’s words not ‘terminable offense’ (UPDATED)

  • 9:35 pm Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
NBA commissioner Adam Silver mandated Donald Sterling's exit over racist comments. (Peter Foley/Bloomberg)

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Hall of Famer Magic Johnson apparently don’t view Danny Ferry’s inflammatory comments about Luol Deng through the same colored lenses.

Johnson made it clear Tuesday that he wants Ferry out, typing four messages on Twitter (all listed below) that included: “Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry should step down after making racist statements about NBA player Luol Deng.”

But Silver said Wednesday he does not believe Ferry’s inflammatory comments about Deng — which were either read from a background report or ad-libbed, we can’t be certain — do not constitute a fireable offense. “The discipline of a [More]

Levenson, Kareem miss point about Atlanta

  • 12:02 pm Monday, September 8th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says Bruce Levenson is a businessman, not a racist. (AP photo)

There were more than 70,000 fans in the Georgia Dome for Sunday’s game between the Falcons and New Orleans Saints. I didn’t stop to do an actual breakdown by race but I can verify that there were a high percentage of blacks in attendance, and, shockingly, that didn’t seem to stop panicked suburban whites from venturing inside the Perimeter to go to the game.

What a relief. For a moment there, I thought maybe Bruce Levenson was right about why white fans weren’t attending Atlanta Hawks games.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the Atlanta sports market — and most [More]

Hawks’ Levenson has ugly exit because of email (UPDATED)

  • 12:23 pm Sunday, September 7th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Hawks majority Bruce Levenson announced he will sell controlling interest in team. (AJC photo)

CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO THE FULL COLUMN ON MYAJC.COM.

Below is the original blog on the most unexpected story in Atlanta sports in some time.

Somehow it figured that when the ownership tenure of the Atlanta Spirit in general and Bruce Levenson in particular ended, it would not end well. None of the partners have ever seemed destined for a victory parade on the way out the door.

But this is an uglier exit than anybody could have expected.

Levenson, the majority partner who orchestrated the Thrashers’ sell and move to Winnipeg and has been the Hawks’ governor in recent years, [More]

LeBron, Carmelo opt out: Hawks an option? (Updated)

  • 10:12 am Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
LeBron James reportedly will opt out of his contract with Miami. What next? (AP)

(Updated below with link to full column on MyAJC.)

We have known for a few days that Carmelo Anthony will opt out of his contract with the New York Knicks. He’s available.

Now we learn from his agent Rich Paul that LeBron James has told the Miami Heat that he will trigger the early termination of his contract and also hit the open market. And soon, we will hear the words, “I am taking my talents to . . .”

Marietta Street?

Should it be considered so far-fetched that the Hawks can land a high-profile free agent like James or Anthony? I know: [More]

Hawks’ assistant Snyder may get Utah job

  • 10:28 am Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Quin Snyder's last head coaching job came with Missouri. (AP photo)

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer and his staff did one of the better coaching jobs in the NBA this season. The ripple effect of that might be him losing one of his assistant coaches.

Quin Snyder, a long-time pro assistant and a former head coach at Missouri and in the NBA’s D-League, has emerged as a leading candidate for the head coaching job of the Utah Jazz.

When asked about Snyder’s candidacy Tuesday, Hawks general manager Danny Ferry responded via email, “They asked for permission to talk with him and he is a part of Utah’s continued process to fill the job there.”

Snyder [More]

Hawks’ Levenson would support Sterling’s exit

  • 12:48 pm Monday, April 28th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

It has been two days and we’re still waiting for a flat-out denial from Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling that it was his voice on a secretly recorded conversation in which he revealed himself (again) as a racist. There has been only a non-denial/denial from team president Andy Roeser, whose statement read, in part: “Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings.”

Nowhere in the 176-word statement were the words, “He didn’t say it.”

Given Sterling has been accused of racial and gender [More]

Short takes: Pacers’ intensity, Hawks’ mistakes key loss

  • 5:27 pm Saturday, April 26th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
The reactions by Kyle Korver and Pero Antic tell the story for the end of Game 4 for the Hawks. (Curtis Compton)

I’ll be back soon on the Hawks’ 91-88 loss to the Indiana Pacers, which evened the playoff series at 2-2. Until then, here are my three “Short Takes” on the game:

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the full subscription column.

1. WAKE-UP CALL? This wasn’t necessarily a dominating performance by Indiana. They were being steam-rolled by the Hawks in the second quarter — 19-8 to open the quarter, including 15-2 in one stretch — and David West and Paul George both missed consecutive free throws down the stretch. But the Pacers finally showed a heartbeat in Game 4, and that could [More]

5 thoughts on Hawks (Pacers may bench Hibbert)

  • 6:39 pm Friday, April 25th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Kyle Korver and the Hawks are starting to get Atlanta sports fans excited. (Curtis Compton)

How’s this for irony? On a day Indianapolis coach Frank Vogel was given the Rudy Tomjanovich Award from the Pro Basketball Writers Association, recognizing his excellence and cooperation with the media, he wasn’t in a terribly expansive mood.

“No,” Vogel responded when asked if he had any update on lineup decisions. “Find out tomorrow.”

When asked again if he was still considering changes (read: benching center Roy Hibbert) Vogel again responded, “Find out tomorrow.”

OK, he was cooperative. Just not transparent.

Some thoughts going into Game 4 on Saturday, with the Hawks leading the best-of-seven series 2-1:

1. WHAT HAS BEEN GAINED: By winning Game [More]

3 reasons why Hawks can push Indiana

  • 9:23 am Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Hawks will be significant underdogs vs. Pacers.

The Hawks made the playoffs, which means the team that has no real chance to win the NBA title or probably even a postseason series will not be in the draft lottery or draft higher than 15th (barring a trade).

In most circumstances, the draft wouldn’t be a talking point on the eve of the playoffs. But the Hawks’ organization has made it no secret that tomorrow is a bigger priority than today at this stage of their building project and, well, it’s hard to dispute that mindset.

But the playoff series against Indiana isn’t without some significance. Here are three reasons [More]