"Baggie Day" is, in NBA jargon, the day after the final game of the season. Unless the players are planning for a parade, it's mostly a reflection on the season, mixed with news on what's ahead for the team and individual players. Occasionally, though, some real news seeps out ... and baggie day for the Nets was one of those occasions.
Several players talked about what happened after Sean Marks got the corner office at the HSS Training Center back in February. It's called accountability.
It appears that some players, left unnamed, weren't showing up for work, that is, practice, on time. And since none of them had the talent of Allen Iverson, it became a real issue.
"You get fined, (or) we even got to the point where we were saying if you’re going to continue to be late you’re going to miss a game, you’re going to get suspended," Thaddeus Young told beat writers.
"Those are the type of things (that force change). When you start to play with people’s money, play with people’s livelihood, take food off their table, things change. So I think that was one of the biggest things. At the end of the day if you’re going to continue to be late, you’re not going to do your job, then hey, why should we pay you for it?"
Again, there were no names, but as anyone who reads the Nets games notes religiously can tell you, there was more than one instance of a player missing a game for "personal reasons."
It went beyond that, said Shane Larkin. It was about "structure." As NetsDaily reported after Marks took over, there were some changes in procedures.
"He gave us insight on how he deals with team fines and everything, and just off his words he chose to use in the conversation — it was nothing negative — he sent off a vibe that, ‘I’ll respect this guy,'" Thomas Robinson said. "Ever since that, (and) multiple other things, there’s a lot of changes being made in the organization. So like I said, he’s serious. He’s making change which has to be made."
Brook Lopez, who's seen three GMs during his time with the Nets, agreed.
"Accountability, responsibility, things like that," Lopez said when asked what Marks has brought to the organization. "It’s very important. We obviously rely on each other to create that strong foundation and we can’t have a single guy slipping up so we need to show up, be on time and do our jobs."
"I think a lot of our young guys took this as a learning experience to kind of see the do’s and do not’s in the league, and take those examples and use them going forward."
Of course the question is who's going forward. The three players with player options --Larkin, Robinson and Wayne Ellington-- said it was too early to decide. Meanwhile, Donald Sloan, an unrestricted free agent, made it clear in an Instagram post that he'd like to be back in Brooklyn.
Thank you Brooklyn for giving me a home this year although it was a crazy year and we didn't accomplish what we wanted it was a year of learning, a year of growing and I'm excited to see the direction this organization is going in hopefully I will find myself back fighting night in and night out in a @brooklynnets uniform next year..... Thank you #brooklyn #barclayscenter #represent #nets #dallas #texasaggies #IMUP
But another player who almost certainly won't be back simply expressed his thanks to Nets fans. Willie Reed posted, "Thanks for all the support through my tough times this season as well, love you guys!!!"
- Sean Marks's impact felt in Brooklyn, not a second too late - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Donald Sloan thanks fans, wants to re-sign with Brooklyn - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets GM started to fine players because of rampant lateness - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Off-season keys for the Nets - Andy Vasquez - The Record