In the second part of his interview with Brian Lewis, Sean Marks talks about a lot of things -- who he learned from, what he learned, the need for curiosity and the value of being open to different ways of thinking. One thing that interested us was his discussion of a "collaborative partnership" -- being open to all opinions, no matter where they're coming from.
"I’ve taken what I learned in San Antonio under R.C.: If the intern has the best opinion at the table, let’s roll with it, but he has to first be at the table. If it’s not inclusive and not a collaborative partnership, it’s probably not going to work. That’s the way I’d like to build a team."
That is not the way things have been run in the past. As we and others have pointed out, the Nets were guided by a small group ethos. As we wrote the day Mikhail Prokhorov sent Lionel Hollins and Billy King packing,
"The Nets big issue is that there aren't a lot of people inside the organization who could say "no," who even knew enough to say "yes" or "no." Decision-making was kept to a small group who shared an opportunistic mindset, rather than long-term thinking. Dissenting opinions were often dismissed, as were those who pushed them. People who stay learn to shut up."
There were only a handful of people involved in the discussions that led to the Boston trade, for example. That Marks thinks there is a need to change that is a positive. The Nets new GM spoke as well about other changes he wants to institute, including a willingness to borrow from other organizations.
"If there’s one thing I learned from R.C. in San Antonio. … he’s curious by nature, and I’ve learned that from him,’’ Marks said. "There’s a lot of people doing really good things in different places, in sports, different business organizations you can learn from and potentially translate to having this be a successful time in Brooklyn."
And if that means traveling to those locations, whether in the Bronx or Milan, to get "performance tips," the Nets will now do that. He's hopeful it will all work. "It’ll be a great adventure. That’s exactly the way it was phrased to me from Pop," said Marks.