As new Atlanta Hawks General Manager and President of Basketball of Operations Danny Ferry prepares to start molding a new era in the Hawks' franchise, he spoke (via Sports Radio Interviews.com) about what characteristics he's looking to instill in the new Hawks program and why Atlanta had an offer too good to turn down.
First, Ferry talked about why he chose to leave as the San Antonio Spurs' Vice President of Basketball Operations and take the Atlanta position, even though the Philadelphia 76ers were also looking to acquire his services.
“What attracted me to the Hawks and the prospect of leaving San Antonio was I was in a place, a tremendous organization and I had great relationships there but I was struck by Bruce Levinson’s humble approach to their past and his passion and dedication to do things in the future the right way. That was critical for me and that’s where it all started. My conversations with him over the past few weeks had nothing to do with what players were on the roster but were we going to be able to build a program that he was willing to invest in that did things from an analytical standpoint, a medical standpoint from each domain that an organization has, were we going to be willing to do it the right way? When I got those assurances and gained a trust level and generally liked Bruce then I was ready. I’m excited to be here, there’s a lot of work to be done, anxious to get after it and go from here.”
As you can see, Ferry wanted to make sure he was going to be working with an owner who was willing to do what was necessary to build a successful program the right way, similar to how Spurs owner Peter Holt has done over the years in allowing General Manager R.C. Buford, head coach Gregg Popovich and their brass to run a winning and professional program in South Texas.
In order to build such a winning program, Ferry says it will all have to do with the characteristics the organization has and may need to bring in.
“The approach we will have coming in is a values driven approach. Having players that are unselfish, skilled, hard working, character, team minded and a systematic approach to how we play on the court but also off the court, meaning how we do things in the draft, how we do things in free agency and so on. Being systematic and progressive with those things. Building with the right people. This is obviously a sport but the people part is important.”
Over the past few seasons, the Hawks have been a consistent to average playoff team, but never seen as a contender.
When you read Ferry's words, one of the first players who comes to mind on the Hawks' roster that hasn't publicly shown the traits he's looking for over the years is forward Josh Smith. Smith has been said to be disgruntled in the past with the franchise and has often had his name in numerous trade rumors.
With Ferry now at the helm and looking to make changes, Smith could be one of the first Hawks' stars to go. Ferry says he's working with coach Larry Drew to analyze the players they have and what changes they'll need to make to their roster in the coming days.