Two days after the Nets hit rock bottom with a loss to the 76ers (following a loss to the Magic) and one day before a three-game set against the NBA’s best teams, Sean Marks went on WFAN and gave his assessment of what’s happened so far ... and his plans. Greg Hrinya of The Examiner tweeted out the highlights.
As he has since being hired, Marks did not offer false hope.
"None of us thought this was going to be easy. It's a great challenge... and we all knew that." Sean Marks on @WFAN660.— Greg Hrinya (@GHrinyaNets) December 20, 2016
... and admitted defense is the big issue with the team’s woes this season...
"It's definitely a concern for Kenny and our staff." - Sean Marks on the defense.— Greg Hrinya (@GHrinyaNets) December 20, 2016
He predicted the Nets would be active now that trade season is one ... but it will have to make sense long-term.
"Will we be active? I think we'll be strategic. ... We're not just going to jump on something." - Sean Marks.— Greg Hrinya (@GHrinyaNets) December 20, 2016
He also offered praise for his head coach...
"I think he's been terrific," Marks said of Kenny Atkinson, referencing behind the scenes as well as on-court.— Greg Hrinya (@GHrinyaNets) December 20, 2016
...but wouldn’t comment, other than a laugh, when asked about his predecessor’s moves...
Sean Marks laughed when asked about Billy and the picks. Good thing he can keep a sense of humor about it!— Greg Hrinya (@GHrinyaNets) December 20, 2016
"Were making best with what we've got. We realized that going into this, it's not going to be easy, it's not going to be pretty." Sean Marks— Greg Hrinya (@GHrinyaNets) December 20, 2016
So there you have it. No false hope, sticking with the plan, big challenge, no panic ... no picnic. Marks also spoke about the role of “emotional attachment” when it comes to a decision on whether to trade a player like Brook Lopez; how the Nets will continue to pursue restricted free agents despite their 0-for-3 record, noting that with few assets, they have to pursue all options. “This is the handle we were dealt,” he said.
Asked about Caris LeVert, Marks spoke about his desire and the Nets caution...
“Caris has been the first guy in the gym and the last guy out for the past three or four months now. So its great to just see him out there. He's worked so hard and so diligently to get out there. If anything, you can blame us for holding him back a little bit. We were lets make sure everything is alright, lets make sure everything is fine before you get out there.”
Finally, he noted that the Nets home attendance is up seven percent year-to-date.
Word is that despite the losing, ownership strongly supports Marks and Atkinson and their strategic plan, that everyone realizes a long-term strategic vision is likely a better fix than a race for a championship ring. Sorta been there, done that and all we got was a receipt for more than $100 million in luxury taxes.
- Interview with Sean Marks (audio) - Evan Roberts - WFAN