Before Cherokee Parks, there was Christian Laettner. Before Christian Laettner, there was Danny Ferry, who led the Blue Devils to three Final Four appearances. The generic blank jersey in the photo made this 1990 Fleer card a bit of a novelty. Fleer was forced to edit out the name from the jersey because Duke University would not give the proper permission for the name to be used. That is a fun fact, just in case you needed another reason to hate Duke.
As the Cleveland Cavaliers get hyped on the potential of number one draft pick Andrew Wiggins, we look at this past Cavs prospect that garnered equally high expectations. Danny Ferry’s story and career trajectory hold a lot of relevance to the happenings in the NBA today. Ferry was drafted by the Clippers number two overall in the 1989 NBA draft. With an incredible amount of foresight, he pulled a John Elway (later an Eli Manning) refusing to play for Donald Sterling’s team, opting to play overseas instead. In true Cleveland fashion, the Cavs made a blockbuster Ricky Williams-esque trade sending two first-round draft picks and Ron Harper to the Clippers in exchange for the rights to Danny Ferry. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Cleveland sealed the deal by locking Ferry into a 10-year guaranteed contract! After a decade of futility, Ferry was not retained by the Cavs and signed with the Tim Duncan led Spurs, picking up a championship as a bench player in 2003.
Shortly after retiring, Ferry was given an opportunity in the Spurs front office that eventually brought him full circle. He was hired as the Cavs General Manager in 2005, tasked with surrounding LeBron James with enough talent to win an NBA championship. We all know how that story ended. Ferry is currently GM of the Atlanta Hawks and recently drafted fan-favorite Adreian Payne of Michigan State. I’m sure Ferry is hoping has a better playing career than his own. It is pretty amazing how Danny Ferry has been a small cog in the NBA wheel playing a subtle role in leading the NBA to it’s present state.[related-posts]