Mark Bradley blog 

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

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.

[More]

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]

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]

Carmelo to the Heat? It’d be fascinating

  • 9:02 am Thursday, June 12th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
I tried to dislike these guys. Couldn't do it. (Lynn Sladky/AP)

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein report that the Miami Heat are preparing to pursue the free-agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony in the hope that their Big Three will become a foursome. On its face, this is astonishing news. The Heat’s biggest task of Summer 2014 figured to be keeping the Big Three intact — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can all opt out of their contracts. But Pat Riley, who’s the best in the business, wants to add yet another All-Star to his mix.

Somehow, the notion of Carmelo teaming with LeBron and his Super Friends isn’t off-putting in [More]

The Hawks did well, but not well enough

  • 9:35 pm Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 by Mark Bradley
The story of Game 7: Roy Hibbert stuffs Paul Millsap. (AJ Mast/AP)

INDIANAPOLIS

A heaping helping of cognitive dissonance after the Atlanta Hawks lost Game 7 to the Indiana Pacers 92-80 here Saturday.

On the one hand, this rebuilding team — a team playing without its best player to boot — did well to push the East’s No. 1 seed to brink. But the Pacers have seemed for two months a team capable of being shoved over the brink. The eighth-seeded Hawks had a chance to go up 3-1 but wasted a late lead in Game 4. They had a chance to end the series but wasted a late lead in Game 6.

Both of [More]

Update: Will George be suspended for Game 7?

  • 7:42 am Friday, May 2nd, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Paul George drives in Game 6. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

It’s clear from the video that Paul George, the Indiana Pacers’ best player, took a step and a half onto the court when teammate George Hill squared off against the Atlanta Hawks’ Mike Scott late in the second quarter of Game 6 on Thursday. At issue now is whether that step and a half, which isn’t enough to warrant a traveling violation, will disqualify George from Saturday’s Game 7.

Esteemed colleague Chris Vivlamore reports that the NBA will review the matter. A decision should come today.

UPDATE: As Vivlamore writes, the decision came. Nobody will be suspended for Game 7.

The [More]

The eighth-seeded Hawks – one step from Round 2

  • 11:55 pm Monday, April 28th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
The happy Hawks celebrate a Naptown beatdown. (Darron Cummings/AP)

INDIANAPOLIS

Three observations regarding the Atlanta Hawks, a No. 8 seed on the verge of a major upset after Monday’s 107-97 victory in a Game 5 the Hawks once led by 30 points.

1. First of all, this isn’t a major upset. The Hawks have beaten the Indiana Pacers, who’ve lost eight games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season, on their home floor three times in 22 days. In two of those games, the Hawks led by at least 30 points. In the other, they led by 20. They’re a terrible matchup for the Pacers, who won 56 games because they’re great [More]

For the good of the NBA, Donald Sterling must go

  • 12:33 pm Monday, April 28th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
The Clippers and their generic shirts. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

On a karmic level, the best punishment the NBA could administer to Donald Sterling would be to make him keep owning the Los Angeles Clippers for the next decade. Imagine how that would be. What player not currently under contract would agree to play for him? What coach — Doc Rivers, in Year 1 on the job, has said he’s not sure if he wants to continue– would want to work for him? How many games would they win then? And, given that Sterling is on record as preferring that African-Americans not come to his team’s games, how many sellouts [More]