Mark Bradley blog 

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Don’t fret over the Falcons’ O; worry about the D

  • 9:10 am Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 by Mark Bradley
"Young man, have you given any thought to playing safety?" (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

I wouldn’t give up on the Atlanta Falcons’ offense. The line is in disarray, but it’s not as if the line has ever been in array. Joe Hawley, lost for the duration, was starting at center only because Peter Konz wasn’t ready. Lamar Holmes, also gone for the season, was starting at right tackle only because Sam Baker was hurt in preseason and Jake Matthews had to switch sides.

My point being: No matter how that starter happened to get his assignment, you never want to lose one — but it’s not as if the Next Men Up are replacing All-Pros. [More]

Is there a chance Ferry keeps his job? (Yes, but … )

  • 10:06 am Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Mike Budenholzer: Coach and GM, for now. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

After throwing off a week’s cloak of silence/inaction surely imposed on him by his ham-handed employers, Danny Ferry has made a series of smart moves. On Sept. 12, he released a longer statement that sounded heartfelt in its remorse, as opposed to that three-paragraph burst released by the Atlanta Hawks at 7:07 a.m. three days earlier. He also announced he was taking a leave of absence, which gave a heated matter time to breathe if not cool.

Ferry has since apologized to many offended parties, and both Luol Deng, about whom the regrettable words were read/said, and Magic Johnson, who’d [More]

A rough week ends with two positive steps for Ferry

  • 5:02 pm Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
By taking a leave, Danny Ferry might not be leaving. (Hyosub Shin/AJC)

Over the long week, I’ve written a time or two that I think it will be very hard for Danny Ferry to remain the Atlanta Hawks’ general manager. I now think he has given himself a fighting chance. Esteemed colleague Chris Vivlamore’s unearthing of the “background report” on Luol Deng indicates that Ferry — as the Hawks have claimed all along and I frankly had doubted — was indeed reading the incendiary words.

And then, to cap another dizzying day, the Hawks announced that Ferry is taking a leave of absence.

The latter is a needed step backward that, for [More]

It sure didn’t sound as if Danny Ferry was reading

  • 8:50 pm Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
It sure didn't sound as if Danny Ferry was reading. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Maybe you believe that Michael Gearon Jr., one of the Atlanta Hawks’ many owners, is waging a campaign to oust Danny Ferry as general manager. Even if we concede that point, we’re left with this:

Ferry spoke insensitive words in a business setting about Luol Deng, whom the Hawks were considering for employment. The audio tape obtained by esteemed colleague Chris Vivlamore underscores what Adrian Wojnarowski’s review for Yahoo! Sports of a written transcript of the June conference call suggested: It doesn’t sound as if Ferry was, as the Hawks have maintained, reading from a background report.

If that was [More]

Can Danny Ferry keep his job? I don’t see how

  • 7:59 am Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Bruce Levenson is leaving. Can Danny Ferry possibly stay? (Johnny Crawford/AJC)


When first the Atlanta Hawks’ owners were squabbling over a general manager, it was semi-comical. In 2005, Billy Knight wanted to send Boris Diaw and two draft picks to Phoenix in a sign-and-trade for Joe Johnson; Steve Belkin thought that was too much to give and refused to grant his blessing. The whole thing wound up in a Massachusetts court — yielding the famous photo of Knight refusing Belkin’s proffered handshake — and led to the other owners deposing Belkin as NBA governor and holding what amounted to a pep rally for Knight on the floor of Philips Arena.


The Levenson part was bad. Is the Ferry part worse?

  • 10:49 am Monday, September 8th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Bruce Levenson is leaving. Can Danny Ferry possibly stay? (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

It would be one thing — and not in any way a good thing, we stress — if the Atlanta Hawks’ latest howler could be written off as another in a series of missteps by an infamous band of owners. But, as esteemed colleague Chris Vivlamore has reported, there’s more to this than one Bruce Levenson email. There’s also the Danny Ferry component.

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin revealed to Vivlamore that Ferry, the general manager, used what Koonin described as an “offensive and racist” remark in the discussion of a free agent. (I can confirm that the player in question [More]

LeBron back to Cleveland, and that’s not a bad thing

  • 12:41 pm Friday, July 11th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Gone from South Beach in a puff of smoke. (AP photo)

LeBron James is taking his talents to …

How about we just retire that tired line here and now? How about we just say, “LeBron James is headed back to Cleveland to play for the Cavaliers?” Is that good enough?

I’ll be honest: I never thought he’d leave Miami — a good organization based in Florida, which has nice weather and no state income tax — but the Cavaliers, of all teams, closed the sale. (LeBron announced his decision via an essay on, which beats the heck of “The Decision,” that overblown hour of ego-gratification that aired on ESPN in [More]

For the Hawks, Luol Deng would be an upgrade

  • 7:48 am Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Luol Deng and Kyle Korver: Once and future teammates? (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Esteemed colleague Chris Vivlamore has identified Luol Deng, once of Chicago and lately of Cleveland, as the Atlanta Hawks’ top target, realistically speaking, in free agency. (The Hawks will try to woo LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, but neither pursuit would seem realistic.) What would landing Deng do for the local franchise?

It would give them a better No. 1 small forward than DeMarre Carroll, who shouldn’t be starting for an upper-level NBA club, and would make their first five — Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Deng, Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague — one of the league’s 10 best. Deng is [More]

Payne is Hawks-like, but is he right for the Hawks?

  • 11:02 am Friday, June 27th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Props for the plaid and the pink, Mr. Payne. (Jason DeCrow/AP)

Danny Ferry knows what he’s doing, and I haven’t always said that about every Atlanta Hawks general manager. (And I’ve known five.) I don’t doubt that Adreian Payne fits what the Hawks want to do. Strange as this might sound, that’s my problem with them picking Adreian Payne.

If you’d asked me at noon Thursday, “Among players apt to be available at No. 15, who’s most Hawks-like?”, I’d have said Adreian Payne. He’s big and he can shoot 3-pointers. The Hawks like their big guys to shoot 3-pointers. Paul Millsap does it. Pero Antic does it. Mike Scott does it. Even [More]

Should the Hawks trade Horford? Not now, I say

  • 11:27 am Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
"Take my advice: You'd rather tear a pectoral than break a foot." (Jason Getz/AJC)

Danny Ferry just reminded me of this: “The first time we ever talked — two years ago in Centennial Tower (where the Atlanta Hawks’ offices are located) — you said, ‘You might have to trade Al Horford to get where you want to go.’ “

Not that I have a one-track mind — and not that I know anything about anything — but here it is 2014 and I’m still thinking the same. With Ferry as general manager, the Hawks have become a pretty good team with a very good coach and a clear idea of how they want to play. [More]