Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don’t Lie has an… umm… interesting take on things, speculating that owner Dan Gilbert is going all Steinbrenner on Ferry. That may in fact be true, but I’m not so sure I buy Ferry as a sympathetic character in this saga. Even just a little scrutiny makes him look like a GM with a PF fettish and next to no eye for backcourt talent.
Take a look at Cleveland’s roster using Player Efficiency Rating (PER). PER doesn’t hold up well for every kind of analysis, but it’s not bad for a quick-and-dirty glance at talent distribution. A league average player has a PER of 15.
What jumps out at me about Ferry’s roster is that only Mo Williams is even league average (16.9) at guard. Anthony Parker was actually worse than Chris Duhon and Delonte West wasn’t much better. You might be able to get away with playing 4-on-5 in the regular season with LeBron, but not in the playoffs. The NBA playoffs are as different from the regular season as any sport, and to be that unspeakably bad at any one position seems like a fatal flaw for an alleged title contender. I could see why an owner would ask Ferry to fall on his sword.
They had a nice run. Ferry will get another gig I am sure. (New York? Shudder.) Life will go on.