Tag:Danny Ferry
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:31 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 1:16 pm

Mike Brown says relationship with Lebron 'fine'

By Matt Moore

Coaches have to put up with a world of grief. Player egos, rookie mistakes, blown coverage, the media, P.R. engagements, travel, family, all of it at the same time. There's a reason they're paid what they are.

Mike Brown has to deal with more than his fair share. He was LeBron James'coach in Cleveland and failed to win a title. Everyone has their opinion on whether that was the fault of LeBron, Danny Ferry's general management, or Brown's coaching. And since then there have been a ton of rumors about the reason Brown was fired, the relationship between James and Brown, and how the entire situation was structured, how much leeway James had exactly. 

In an interview on Cleveland sports radio, Brown spoke about his relationship with LeBron. They apparently talked after everything went down in the summer of 2010, but haven't spoken much since then. And Brown describes the relationship as "fine." From Sports Radio Interviews:  
The perception was that somehow you and LeBron James didn’t get along. Talk about your relationship with LeBron James while you were here.  What was your relationship after you were let go and LeBron James made his decision? Have you talked since? How is your relationship with him today?

“We have been in contact after I had gotten let go. We had texted each other a few times. We emailed each other a few times. Now we haven’t talked in…I don’t know six, seven, eight months maybe? We haven’t communicate via text or email in awhile, but when I had gotten let go, probably within the next six-to-eight months after that we had been in contact a few times with each other. Our relationship was fine. It was a player/coach relationship probably a little bit more than that, but it was fine. There was not a time at all where he was dismissive of me or he didn’t do what I had asked him to do or anything like that. I thought we had a great working relationship.

I thought we had a lot of success. I understand the business. I understand how speculation and rumors float about and it’s something as you guys know it is what it is. There’s no need for me to fight it. I just let it go and as long as I am okay with the person I’m dealing with? It is kind of similar to here. Everybody was saying that Kobe [Bryant] has not approved of me or whatever. You hearing all this type of speculation. People don’t know Kobe and I? We had been in contact quite a bit before we even met face-to-face. We had been in contact via text and via phone, so he even asked me if he had to come out and say something publicly? I told him no. I said: ‘Hey I know I am good with you and you are good with me and that’s all I need.’ People can speculate because it is part of the business and I accept it.”
via Sports Radio Interviews » Blog Archive » Mike Brown doesn’t fault Dan Gilbert for letting him go in Cleveland, proclaims his relationship with LeBron James is ‘fine.’.

Brown's not going to say anything if his relationship was soured with Lebron, and given James' actions and general demeanor, it's difficult to see him ever having a strong relationship with a coach. 

But Brown clearly wants to move past it. He's with L.A. now, they're winning, and he does have the experience to handle the situation with Kobe Bryant as well as anyone outside of Phil Jackson. Brown's constantly under heavy shadows. LeBron James, Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant. But as time goes on, at least he can move away from Cleveland what has turned out to be an absolute disaster for all involved.

We like to think that all sports relationships are polar. They hate each other or they love each other. They got along great and had a close relationship or they were completely dysfunctional. But like most relationships in life, things are more complicated. It's not black and white, and it's not easy.

Maybe, after all that, "fine" is as good as it's going to get.
Posted on: May 25, 2011 3:01 pm

Danny Ferry on top of Portland's wishlist?

Posted by Royce Young

As our Ben Golliver pointed out in his terrific piece where he spoke with Blazers president Larry Miller just hours after the organization parted ways with general manager Rich Cho, Portland is planning to take its time choosing the next GM.

They're 0-for-2 with the past couple hires so obviously the franchise is looking for some stablility. But no doubt the powers that be are assembling their list of potential candidates to fill the position. And according to the San Antonio Express-News, former Cleveland GM Danny Ferry is sitting right near the top.

During his five years in Cleveland, Ferry worked for a billionaire owner with a big ego, Dan Gilbert. He also dealt with a superstar, LeBron James, who had a team of sycophants behind the scenes second-guessing and undercutting the GM. Still, Ferry built a team that made it to one NBA Finals and posted the NBA’s best regular-season record in back-to-back seasons.

That’s not exactly a mirror image of Allen’s operation in Portland — the sycophants there work for Allen, not a player — but it’s close enough to prepare Ferry for what he would face if he were to end up as Cho’s successor.

That really could not have been put better. Clearly there are some issues with upper management and ownership in Portland. Kevin Pritchard and assistant GM Tom Penn butted heads with the Blazer brass before Cho couldn't co-exist. So finding a "fit" is very key. And not only does Ferry have experience in that field, he comes from a Spurs organization that does every by the book and a Cavs organization where he experienced a lot of outside influences while doing his job.

(Currently, Ferry is San Antonio's vice president of basketball operations.)

In all honesty, I think Ferry would be a tremendous hire for the Blazers. Managing people is as much a part of a GM's job as anything else and Ferry is pretty solid in that deparment. As a former player he understands chemistry and what it takes for a team to function properly. He was a terrific role player in his NBA career and I'm sure he'd understand his role well in Portland.

One hangup though: Ferry would again be coming from the Spurs organization. Cho came from the Thunder, a franchise that is run in very similar fashion to the Spurs. Now Cho and Ferry are clearly different people with different personalities, but in team of organizational structure, their backgrounds are similar.

Obviously Ferry isn't going to be the only guy on the list. Owner Paul Allen is looking for someone to "connect" with him. In other words, do exactly what he says, no questions asked. With Ferry though, it would take some courtship from the Blazers to convince him. Having fired two GMs in less than a year doesn't exactly encourage the best and brightest to sign up. Unless of course the price is right.
Posted on: January 30, 2011 9:32 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2011 11:03 pm

Knicks to hire Mark Warkentien as consultant

The New York Knicks will reportedly hire former Denver Nuggets executive Mark Warkentien. Posted by Ben Golliver. mark-warkentien

Here's some news that figures to kick up another solid round of Carmelo Anthony trade rumors: the New York Knicks are reportedly set to hire former Denver Nuggets vice president of basketball operations Mark Warkentien as a consultant to president Donnie Walsh, according to Yahoo! Sports.
In a move that undoubtedly has roots in the pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks president Donnie Walsh has reached an agreement with former Denver Nuggets general manager Mark Warkentien to join the Knicks as a high-level consultant, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday.
The hiring of Warkentien is expected to be a prelude to a larger and more specific front-office role in the future, but that’s still an issue to be worked out. As the Knicks work to acquire Anthony through a trade this season or in free agency this summer, there’s no minimizing Warkentien’s institutional knowledge of the Nuggets organization and ownership, as well as a strong relationship with Anthony.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms the Yahoo! report and further explores the hiring's implications on the Anthony trade talks.

The New York Daily News reports Anthony's reaction to the news: "As far as I'm concerned that's a great addition to their organization."

Warkentien is perhaps best known for landing point guard Chauncey Billups in a blockbuster 2008 trade for Allen Iverson. He has also established a reputation as a negotiations expert, having studied the art of deal-making extensively at Harvard.

Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke is said to be a demanding man to work for, as he runs the Nuggets by focusing on payroll management and profit maximization to a degree many owners do not. Pitching a deal with the scope and magnitude of a Carmelo Anthony trade takes a keen sense for what motivates an owner, and Warkentien's direct knowledge of those motivations would absolutely be an asset that could pay immediate dividends for the Knicks.

Still, this move feels like more than just "Melo-or-bust" for New York. Warkentien was named NBA Executive of the Year for 2008-2009 and was one of the biggest available names among the group of former NBA GMs, alongside Kevin Pritchard, Danny Ferry and Steve Kerr. Warkentien brings roughly 20 years of NBA experience to the table -- including a long record of scouting -- and the network of relationships that go along with that experience. 

During the four seasons that Warkentien headed up the Nuggets, Denver won 45, 50, 54 and 53 games. So whether or not Warkentien helps the Knicks land Anthony prior to the trade deadline, his hiring represents another sign that the Knicks franchise, a team on the rise, is looking for people to help transform it into a true title contender. 
Posted on: September 13, 2010 4:32 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2010 11:10 pm

Report: Cleveland hires Suns' Griffin

Report: Suns VP joins post-LeBron building project after turning down Nuggets' GM job.
Posted by Matt Moore

David Griffin has been quite the hot commodity this summer, and it would appear the Cavaliers were hot enough to land him. Ric Bucher of ESPN reports that the Cavaliers have hired Griffin as their new Vice President of Basketball Operations , the same role he's held in Phoenix since 2007. The role carries with it an increase in prestige as Cavs' owner Dan Gilbert is known to be more supportive and less fiddling than Suns' owner Robert Sarver. He'll join Chris Grant who was recently extended as General Manager after taking the interim reins following the departure of Danny Ferry. Griffin takes over the job of Lance Blanks who left in the great exodus pre and post "The Decision." Got all that? It's a little bit like a soap opera, only with poor drafting choices and salary cap management.

Griffin turned down an offer from the Denver Nuggets this summer to become their main man in charge, a position that was eventually given to Masai Ujiri, who now gets to wait for Carmelo Anthony to decide he's done watching tennis matches and ready to talk about his job. Bucher reports that Griffin turned down the Nuggets' position because it was substantially below the $1 million benchmark for GMs. If that aspect is true, it paints a disturbing picture for Nuggets fans who face a new regime with Josh Kroenke, son of principal owner Stan Kroenke taking over operations with the elder Kroenke gaining ownership of the NFL's St. Louis Rams. Those kinds of sub-standard offers make obtaining top talent difficult, even if the practice doesn't extend to the team's roster itself.

Cleveland meanwhile gets one of the remaining architects of one of the more succesfull franchises over the past decade. Griffin had been with the Suns off and on since 1993. You have to wonder after all the changes the Suns have seen with the departures of Amar'e Stoudemire, Steve Kerr, and now Griffin, if the ship will be steady as Steve Nash prepares to sail into the sunset in the next few years.
Posted on: August 26, 2010 8:41 am
Edited on: August 26, 2010 9:19 am

Shootaround 8.26.10: Heat defense and Boom fat

More on Heisley's train wreck, Chinese investor deal falls through for the Cavs, the Heat defense, and Baron Davis' fat.
Posted by Matt Moore

Earlier in the week we told you about Michael Heisley's train wreck on Memphis radio . Now, Chris Herrington writing for the Memphis Flyer has gone through the interview quote by quote to outline just how off Heisley is in his logic and assertions. It's so bad that Herrington had to break it into two parts . That's a fairly impressive crash and burn for the owner of a major sports league franchise.

How good are the Heat going to be on defense? That's the question John Krolik walks us through on Pro Basketball Talk. Krolik asserts that Wade and James are not only terrific perimeter defenders, but their weaknesses should be covered by the other's strengths (ex. Wade's weak post-defense can be managed by James' strength there). The big questions, predictably, surround their low-post defense and it's likely going to be up to Bosh to step up for the Heat to be dominant defensively. Bosh is going to have to be the player he was treated as and paid to be in free agency, with a complete game to go alongside those pretty jumpers and rebounds.

Former NBA player Jay Vincent has been indicted in an internet scam fraud.

The deal to bring in Chinese investors to the Cavaliers fell apart months ago , via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. The investment was partially targeted by Cavs ownership to help woo LeBron James. It represents just another in a long series of events that likely did not help the Cavs in retaining James, despite a feeling from most people that his relocation was planned out months or maybe even years ago. If there was any chance of him changing his mind, front-office moves and things like this deal falling apart likely didn't help instill confidence from him in the franchise or its future.

Danny Ferry has rejoined the Spurs and will oversee their D-League affiliate among other duties. The Spurs take the operation of their affiliate very seriously and Ferry is a prime candidate for this kind of job. It's likely a welcome relief to be working with players that want a job again after his recent experiences.

Long story short: fouling or not fouling when up three will pretty much net you the same win percentage. Go figure. No, seriously, go figure, because the math behind this stuff is fairly complicated.

Baron Davis refutes a report that he's gone tubbo. No word on if he's also going to refute the assertion that he's lazy, injury-prone and inefficient.

Scottie Pippen's getting his own statue , which is pretty neat for him. Of course the best pose of him won't make it: him standing over Patrick Ewing.

A Stern Warning reports that Patty Mills will remain a Blazer this season .

Some really great news for Mikhail Torrance, who suffered a heart attack in a work-out, collapsed, and slipped into a coma. He's breathing on his own again .

Posted on: August 4, 2010 1:17 pm

Names popping up for Nuggets GM opening

Posted by Royce Young

One thing can be certain about whoever is hired as Mark Warkentien's replacement in Denver: Carmelo Anthony better like him.

Anthony is reportedly planning on testing free agency waters next summer and will leave a three-year extension on the table. So while Denver looks for a new general manager, whoever that person is, has a tall task in front of him.

Right now, one name has popped up in two places. Both Doug Smith of the Toronto Star and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! mentioned Masai Ujiri of the Raptors, who has ties with the Nuggets from a few years ago. Smith says, "there is legitimate interest both ways" and feels like Ujiri is almost assured at least an interview.

Another name is Wizards' executive Tommy Sheppard, also a former employee of the Nuggets. As Spears says, Nugget owner Stan Kroenke loves both Ujiri and Sheppard. Finally, Spears also mentioned former Suns GM David Griffin and described him as a "strong candidate."

Of course there are still guys like Kevin Pritchard and Danny Ferry on the market who are proven and well respected GMs. But it appears, at least in the early going, that Denver is interested in someone formerly connected to the franchise.

Whoever gets the job has a strong centerpiece for next season. But the real job is convincing 'Melo to stay and then finding the pieces to satisfy him if he does. Evidently Warkentien, one of the best GMs in the league, didn't fit in well with Kroenke and the organization. So maybe the job is a tall task altogther and not just because of 'Melo's extension.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com