Danny Ferry made the list of my top 20 Cavaliers at #16, but oddly enough he is no longer with the organization. D-Ferry (or D-fairy depending on who you ask) was born in Maryland in 1966. Danny was a high school phenom, and was easily considered one of the best high school basketball athletes in the country in 1985. Danny gained national recognition when he was selected as Parade Magazine’s Prep Player of the Year. He was one of the most highly recruited seniors at the time, and he eventually committed to the Blue Devils of Duke University.
At Duke, Danny was pretty much a machine. He was renowned for his outside shooting, rebounding, and court-vision. Some even compared him to a young Larry Bird (a little bit of a stretch). He did however set a bunch of records while at Duke, and helped lead them to 3 Final Four appearances. Danny still holds Duke’s all-time single game scoring record, with 58 points in a game against Miami in 1988. Duke is a college powerhouse, and he cemented his legacy there ranking 5th in career points, and 5th in career rebounds.
He was also a consensus All-American, and earned a Naismith College Player of the Year award. You should be getting the picture: Danny was the man. He was one of the country’s most popular players in the country, and he was near the top on most team’s draft boards. Duke even retired his #35 jersey at the end of his senior season.
Danny was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers with the 2nd overall pick in the 1989 draft. Danny knew the history of their terrible franchise, and indicated that he would not play for them. The Clippers sent him overseas to Italy where he played one season averaging 23 points and 6 rebounds. Before he played a game for the Los Angeles, the Cavaliers acquired him along with Reggie Williams in exchange for Ron Harper, and two 1st round draft picks. The Cavs were willing to give up a good deal to get him, but they had faith he would be worth it.
Danny’s Ferry time in a Cleveland uniform was solid. He spent 10 years as a Cavalier, playing in a franchise-record 723 record games (until Zydrunas broke it), and averaged 7.8 points and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes a game. His best season came playing alongside other top 20 cavaliers Terrell Brandon and Bobby Phills, where he averaged 13 points and 4 rebounds in 32 minutes a game.
At 6 foot 10 inches and 230 pounds, Danny was a legitimate NBA power forward and gave the Cavaliers that token white-guy you could easily root for. Although many would argue he never became the type of star the Cavaliers were hoping for, he was still a solid Cavalier and remained loyal to the franchise.
Danny left Cleveland in 2000 and signed with the San Antonio Spurs. After a few uneventful seasons, he retired and joined their front office from 2003-2005. He directed all basketball operations and was very active in the draft and free agency market.
The Cavaliers offered Danny a chance to return as a GM for the franchise he played 10 seasons for, when he was offered a 5 year contract worth $10 million dollars in 2005. Danny’s management career in Cleveland started off a little shaky, when he constructed the infamous signing of Larry Hughes. He rebounded quickly though, and started building our franchise to what he assumed would be a title contender.
He was the architect of the Shaquille O’ Neal sign-and-trade, the Antawn Jamison acquisition, and also bringing in Mo Williams. Unfortunately, we all know the story of the 2010 Cavaliers collapse. LeBron is on the fence about returning, and Danny turned in his resignation just about a week ago. Apparently he didn’t like the direction Dan Gilbert was taking this team. He also wasn’t in favor of the way the Cavaliers handled themselves during the regular season, and D-Ferry disapproved of the organization basically bending over backwards for every one of LeBron’s requests.
As such, he is no longer part of the franchise. Regardless, Danny is still a good guy. I was once told, “You should start liking players for things they do off the court, because that means they are good people..” whatever that means. He is a board member of Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights OH. He’s also a board member of Playing for Peace: a nonprofit organization that uses basketball to unite and educate kids around the world. Danny, we thank you for your time in Cleveland and we wish you luck in the future. The Sarah’s would agree.. Danny Ferry is Underrated