Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has praised general manager Danny Ferry for his contribution in making the franchise the best in the East this season.
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Ferry took a leave of absence from the Hawks back in September after a recording was leaked to the media of him making insulting remarks about Luol Deng in a conference call.
While he apologised immediately, it wasn’t enough for him to remain in his position and so a difficult decision was made, but Budenholzer is keen to ensure that Ferry’s work isn’t forgotten as the Hawks lead the way in the Eastern Conference.
“Anyone who has followed the Hawks for the last two or three years knows that Danny Ferry is the executive that’s most responsible for the makeup of our team,” Budenholzer said, ESPN reports.
Since Ferry’s departure, Budenholzer has presided as the head of basketball operations with assistant general manager Wes Wilcox also playing an active role in the day-to-day management of the organisation.
The Hawks coach added that Ferry was responsible for him being in his current role, and so without him the Hawks may never have put together such a talented roster and realised their potential.
Atlanta currently sit atop the East standings with a 60-20 record with just two games remaining in the regular season as they have secured the top seed for the playoffs.
They remain nine games ahead of their nearest rivals the Cleveland Cavaliers, and boast one of the best offensive and defensive ratings in the Conference.
In addition, the franchise has received significant praise for their style of play, with many labelling them the ‘San Antonio Spurs of the East’ given Budenholzer’s ties with working for Gregg Popovich for so many years.
It remains to be seen what they can achieve in the heat of the playoffs, but Budenholzer has taken the opportunity now to remind all concerned that Ferry’s efforts should not be forgotten.