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Hawks asked Danny Ferry to step away in September

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Danny Ferry spoke for the first time since taking a leave of absence from the Atlanta Hawks with Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and provided answers on a number of topics associated with his departure.

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Danny Ferry spoke publicly for the first time in an all encompassing interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Chris Vivlamore. They broach a variety of topics including that Ferry had pressed the team for months to release the details of the Bernard Taylor investigation and that his leave of absence from the team wasn't voluntary.

The team asked me to take a leave in September. I agreed to do so because, at the time, emotions were running very high externally—and even more so internally because of the ownership dispute. As time went on, the Hawks asked me to remain on the sidelines until the team was sold. I had no idea it would take as long as it did. I wanted the focus to be on the team and the players. If that meant I had to stay in the background until the team was willing to release the results of the Taylor investigation, then that is what I had to do.

It was previously indicated that Ferry stepped away of his own accord so as not to be a distraction to the team.

Ferry again reiterated that the scouting report on Luol Deng came from a third party, but took full responsibility for "repeating the stereotypes." He was asked that since his name was cleared why he was no longer the team's general manager. His reply indicated that he was told that his status needed to be settled with the current ownership group before new ownership took over. He acknowledged that the group led by Tony Ressler and company should have the opportunity to shape the franchise to their liking.

Ferry went on to praise the job the team did this season and said he was "impressed and proud" of the job the players and coaches did on the court. Be sure to click through to read the complete interview at ajc.com.