In yet another interview, his fifth in the course of a week, Sean Marks told Evan Roberts of WFAN that his boss understands the need for patience and strategic thinking in turning the Nets around. That's a bit of a departure from Mikhail Prokhorov's recently stated hope for a "small reset."
"I think he understands now that there's not a quick fix all the time," Marks told Roberts. "And there's processes you have to go through and when you skip steps, you potentially wind up paying a lot of money and it doesn't work out all the time...."
By investing in things like the HSS Training Center and the Long Island Nets, Marks said ownership understands the need for a change in thinking. "They're showing me, 'We're willing to go ahead and try to do this. Now, it's about doing it the right way and not skipping steps along the way.'"
Marks didn't discuss Prokhorov's comments six weeks ago when he said he thought the addition of "one, two players" and "a lot of luck" could put the Nets in "championship contention" next year but he made it clear that he thinks a lot has to be done to develop a winning culture. It was a theme he repeatedly returned to during the course of the interview as he had in previous media sessions, including his press conference.
He also for the first time spoke about what he thought about the Nets culture, saying that in the past it hasn't been seen as a positive, hadn't been clear around the league.
"I think the one thing --and it's not to knock anyone who's been here before me-- I don't think it was definable," he said of the Nets culture. "I'm not sure what people thought the Nets culture was and that' going to be a big part of my job, to find that vision."
In that same vein, he indicated, in perhaps his strongest comment on the issue, that there will significant staff changes under his leadership.
"My job here is not to make clean sweeping moves in the first 24 hours," he said when asked about the timing of his hire at the deadline. "Yes, the team is going to look different next year. Staffing is going to look different. That's the nature of the NBA, the nature of professional sports. WHat I want to do is spend the next wee while here evaluating what the Brooklyn Nets have, not only from a player standpoint but staffing and so forth."
As for the coaching hire, he said he didn't want to discuss names, but when asked about Tom Thibodeau replied that the former Bulls coach is likely to have many opportunities come the off-season. He also discussed that process the Nets will use and said he wants to get it done "sooner rather than later." He didn't define "sooner."
"I hope to sit with a short list and then get this list in front of our group here in Brooklyn and come to a decision sooner rather than later," he said. "Our group" seemed to be a reference to the search committee the Nets used to find him and will now be part of the coaching selection process.
Can he make enough changes for the Nets to be a competitive destination this summer?
"I would hope so. I know that's going to be difficult.," he admitted but added, "I think Brooklyn has a lot to offer. I think some of the changes we make, even prior to free agency. Agents and players will get wind that something different is happening there. I don't want people saying, 'It's the Nets, nothing's going to change.' There is going to be changes here. I want to get the right people in here, in free agency to lead this team forward..."