NBA London 2011 -  New Jersey Nets v Toronto Raptors

Nets starting to pack it in: Humphries out, Williams may follow

Leave a comment

This post should be very popular in Utah.

You might have surmised the New Jersey had mentally packed it in for the season by their six-game losing streak, but they are also are physically beat up and now coach Avery Johnson is talking about shutting guys down for the season.

Key guys. Like Kris Humphries. And Deron Williams may follow. From Al Iannazzone at the Bergen Record about the Nets lineup for Tuesday.

We know Kris Humphries and Damion James are out. Anthony Morrow didn’t practice because of left knee tendinitis and Deron Williams only went through the non-contact part of practice.

At this point, Brook Lopez is the only Net sure to start against Minnesota when they try to end a six-game losing streak.

Since the Nets are down so many bodies, Williams could continue to play for a little longer, but it would be surprising if he ended the season on the active roster. The same goes for Humphries and James.

“Both of those guys my idea was if they’re not back by Friday then we’ll have to take a long look at not bringing them back,” Johnson said.

Just remember that as part of the Williams trade, the Jazz have the Nets first round pick this year. So rack up the Ping-Pong balls for the Jazz, guys. (Yes, I know they don’t use lottery/Ping-Pong balls anymore, but “rack up a better percentage for the random number table used” doesn’t have the same ring.)

Thabo Sefolosha found not guilty

Thabo Sefolosha
Leave a comment

Thabo Sefolosha clearly believed in his innocence.

The Hawks wing rejected a plea deal of only day of community service and six months probation. That probably would have been easier than a trial.

But Sefolosha opted to fight the charges – misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Today, he was vindicated.

Robert Silverman:

Sefolosha, who missed the playoffs due to a leg injury that seemingly occurred during his arrest, has made his case clear: New York police targeted him because he’s black. Given everything else we know about policing habits, that’s certainly believable.

We’ve also seen video of multiple officers literally pulling Sefolosha in different directions and one striking him in the leg with a nightstick. We don’t know what preceded that video, but especially given the information revealed at trial, it’s difficult to justify that use of force.

This verdict probably sets up Sefolosha’ to sue the NYPD.

Report: Some Hawks executives doubt Danny Ferry’s contrition

Danny Ferry, Mike Budenholzer
Leave a comment

Since his racist comments about Luol Deng, Danny Ferry has mostly avoided the public eye.

He apologized through a couple statements released around the beginning of his leave of absence. He met with black community leaders. He claimed “full responsibility.”

A cadre of NBA people vouched for him. A law firm the Hawks hired to investigate themselves essentially cleared of him of being motivated by racial bias.

But there’s another side.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Ferry’s efforts at contrition sometimes fell short to some inside the organization. Several Hawks executives were at times put off by Ferry’s behavior during a compulsory two-day sensitive training session, especially since they considered his actions triggered the assembly in the first place. He came across as inattentive and dismissive of the exercise, some said, and fiddled with his phone quite a bit. Ferry contends he was taking notes on the meeting.

“It was awkward for everyone because I had not seen or been around Hawks employees for three months,” Ferry told ESPN this summer about the sensitivity training. “I took the seminar seriously, participated in the role-play exercises and certainly learned from the two-day session.”

the Hawks satisfied Ferry on June 22 by releasing both the written Taylor report and a flowery press release in which Hawks CEO Koonin was quoted saying, among other things, that “Danny Ferry is not a racist.” Some Hawks executives grumbled that the team overreached in exonerating Ferry, but doing so — not to mention paying Ferry significantly more than the $9 million he was owed on his “golden ticket” deal — was the cost of moving on.

I don’t know whether Ferry has shown the proper level of contrition, whether he was playing on his phone or taking notes.

But I know what he said:

“He’s a good guy overall, but he’s got some African in him, and I don’t say that in a bad way other than he’s a guy that may be making side deals behind you, if that makes sense. He has a storefront out front that’s beautiful and great, but he may be selling some counterfeit stuff behind you.”

He was not reading directly from a scouting report. He did not stop when his paraphrasing repeated a racist trope.

That’s a problem.

I don’t think Ferry intended to say something racist – but he did.

It’s a fixable issue, though. Through introspection and a desire to change, he can learn from this mistake. Maybe he already has.

That some around him don’t think he took that process seriously is worth noting. They might be off base, and Ferry obviously disagrees with their perception. But this is a two-sided story despite the common narrative focusing on Ferry’s redemption.

It’ll be up to any potential future employers to sort through the discrepancies.