Here are a few notes of interest concerning the Hawks (which will also allow me to work in and debut the new blog format).
* General manager Danny Ferry attended the Atlanta Black Clergy meeting on Monday. Ferry, now on an indefinite leave of absence, was approached by Channel 2 Action News following the meeting. Ferry didn’t stop to take questions but did say “I just wanted to talk to some people here and listen, more than anything else.”
* The Hawks have stated that the will hire a Chief Diversity Officer in light of the current controversy that has besieged the organization. The team has not made an announcement but I hear one person being looked at is a relative of Dr. C.T. Vivian. The civil rights leader, who consulted with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was honored by the Hawks as part of Black History Month in February.
* The Hawks have not released their training camp schedule. However, I would expect the team to spend several days in Athens on the campus of the University of Georgia as they did last year.
* The NBA announced team D-League affiliates on Monday. As I reported in June, the Hawks will be affiliated with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. The Hawks are one of 13 teams to be affiliated with Fort Wayne as all other 17 teams in the D- league are singly- affiliated. The Hawks are joined by the Pacers, Raptors, Bulls, Wizards, Nets, Hornets, Bucks, Clippers, Trail Blazers, Timberwolves, Nuggets and Pelicans.
The Mad Ants will have just four spots available for NBA assignees, done on a first-come, first-served basis. However, the league has implemented a flexible assignment system to handle all 13 teams.
Here is how the system will work, according to the league. The flexible assignment system will be utilized when an independent NBA team assigns a player at a time when the Mad Ants already have either the maximum of four NBA players on assignment or two assigned players at the position of the NBA player who is being assigned. In either case, the D-League will identify any singly-affiliated team willing to accept the assigned player. If there are more than one singly-affiliated D-League teams willing to take the player, the NBA team will choose a team. If no singly-affiliated D-League team is willing to accept the assigned player, he will be assigned to one of the non-NBA-owned single affiliate teams by a lottery.
The Hawks have used the D-League on occasion. John Jenkins and Dennis Schroder played for Bakersfield (Calif.) last year. Jenkins and Mike Scott also played their two years ago.
* SI.com is publishing its list of the top 100 players in the NBA. They have released Numbers 51-100. Two Hawks are listed with Kyle Korver at 74 and Jeff Teague at 92.
* I have been questioned on the selection of coach Mike Budenholzer to assume Ferry’s role in making basketball decisions as opposed to another member of the management staff. My assumption, and it’s only an assumption, is that Budenolzer is more of a well-known name in NBA circles. His association with the Spurs organization also doesn’t hurt.
* I have also been questioned lately on the state of the DUI case involving Budenholzer. The case has yet to be put on the docket at the Fulton County State Court. I reported at the time of his initial appearance that it could take up to a year to be assigned after the case was moved to state court.