Multiple league sources tell NetsDaily that the team has dumped trainer Tim Walsh and press relations vice president Gary Sussman. The two have been with the team for a combined 40 years.
The Nets have not announced either departure. They remain on the Nets front office directory, but sources say the two were informed Thursday morning they would not be returning next season.
Howard Beck, responding to a Tom Lorenzo tweet, confirmed the news.
Confirmed: Nets have let go longtime PR head Gary Sussman, as well as longtime trainer Tim Walsh. Both class guys. https://t.co/EdxVEYWfJU— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) April 16, 2016
Sussman had been with the Nets for 17 years, Walsh for 16 years. Walsh is a 3-time winner of the NBA trainer of the year award.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) April 16, 2016
Walsh has been the NBA Trainer of the Year the last two years. He has also headed the NBA Trainers Association. This season was his 16th as head athletic trainer for the Nets. Walsh spent 1997-2000 in a similar position with the Orlando Magic after serving as assistant trainer for the New York Knicks for 13 seasons.
Walsh gained great notoriety last season when he was instrumental in saving the lives of Mirza Teletovic and assistant coach Jim Sann. Walsh, backed up by team physician Dr Michael Farber, demanded that Teletovic who had felt shortness of breath during a game with the Lakers, return to a Los Angeles hospital and get a cat scan after initially being released. The scan showed Teletovic had multiple blood clots in both lungs, a potentially life-threatening condition. Then two weeks later, assistant coach Jim Sann suffered a heart attack during a Nets practice. Walsh and his two assistants, Ale Oliveira and Lloyd Beckett, revived Sann and got him to a local hospital. Walsh also played himself in the 2010 movie, "Just Wright," with Queen Latifah and Common.
Sussman just completed his 23rd season with the Nets, leaving as vice-president of public relations. Sussman was promoted in the summer of 2003 to his vice president position overseeing the Nets' basketball public relations efforts, which followed eight seasons as the team's director of corporate communications. He was the Nets primary spokesman.
Sussman also served as the team’s public address announcer in for two decades, commencing with Chuck Daly’s opening night in 1992 and concluding with the franchise’s final game in New Jersey on April 13, 2012. His "Jason Kidd" and "VC 3" calls were fan favorites. Here's some of them. Sussman was responsible for all aspects of communications for the team, including day-to-day media interaction, team publicity and game-day media operations.
It's not extraordinary for a new GM, like Sean Marks, to reorganize basketball operations. Marks reportedly will name new staffers soon. In addition, sources say several other basketball operations staff and the team's coaches will not be retained. Frank Zanin, Billy King's assistant GM, announced his departure 10 days ago.
With the Walsh and Sussman departures, the only executive left from the Jason Kidd era is Gregg Polinsky, the team's long time scouting director. One source said Polinsky will remain with the franchise and has signed a new contract.