Since firing Lionel Hollins and "re-assigning" Billy King, Nets ownership has moved quickly to ensure its rebuild is orderly ... and works. So far, its moves have been me with near unanimous praise.
Here are thumbnails of who's been hired...
Sean Marks, 40, general manager. Hired February 18. Marks joins the Nets after spending the past five years with the San Antonio Spurs, including the last two seasons as the team’s assistant general manager. Prior to serving as assistant general manager, Marks spent one season as an assistant coach on the Spurs’ 2014 NBA Championship team, one season as the team’s director of basketball operations and general manager of the Spurs’ NBA Development League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, and one season as a basketball operations assistant.
The New Zealander played 11 years in the NBA, his 230 games and 2,257 minutes, the least ever for a 10-year pro. He has championship rings a a player with the Spurs (2005) and assistant coach (2014)
Trajan Langdon, 39, assistant general manager. Hired March 8. Langdon joins the Nets after having served as the director of player administration and basketball operations for the Cleveland Cavaliers since September, 2015. While with the Cavaliers, Langdon worked closely with the team’s general manager on various basketball and front office matters, with their community relations team on player programs, and was responsible for pro player personnel reporting for opponents, college and NBA Development League scouting. Langdon began his front office career with the San Antonio Spurs, serving as a pro scout from 2012-15, and was a member of the team’s front office during their 2013-14 championship season.
The first Alaskan to play in the NBA, he had a short career in the league, but excelled once he went overseas where his best years were with CSKA Moscow, at a time when Mikheil Prokhorov owned the club and Sergey Kushchenko, a member of the Nets board of directors, was GM. He was a two-time Euroleague champion (2006, 2008), Euroleague Final Four MVP (2008), two-time All-Euroleague First Team selection (2007, 2008) and All-Euroleague Second Team selection (2006). He was also named to the Euroleague 2001-10 All-Decade Team.
Kenny Atkinson, 48, head coach. Hired April 17. Atkinson joins the Nets after spending the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks under Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. The Hawks made playoff appearances in each of Atkinson’s four seasons, including the club’s first-ever trip to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. The 2014-15 Hawks registered a franchise-record 60 wins, including a franchise-best 19-game win streak, and captured their first division title in more than 20 years. Atkinson served on the 2015 Eastern Conference All-Star coaching staff, and he guided Team World in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend in New York. Prior to his tenure with the Hawks, Atkinson was an assistant coach for four seasons with the New York Knicks (2008-12), helping the team reach the postseason in 2011 and 2012. Atkinson also spent one season as the Director of Player Development for the Houston Rockets (2007-08).
His biggest achievement may have been the development of Jeremy Lin and LinSanity in 2011-12. Lin was an undrafted point guard out of Harvard who became Atkinson's pet project. He burst on the scene in December and became the team's star before moving on to Houston. "I can’t say enough about that guy," Lin would say during the height of Linsanity.
Ronald Nored, 26, head coach, Long Island Nets. Hired April 15. Nored joins the Nets after spending two seasons (2013-15) with the Boston Celtics organization, splitting time in his first season as a player development coach for the Celtics, while also serving as an assistant coach for their D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. Prior to the 2014-15 season, the Celtics named Nored as player development director, where he took the lead organizational role for the players’ off-court development, in addition to his on-court coaching duties. Nored spent the 2015-16 season as an assistant coach at Northern Kentucky University.
A 2012 graduate of Butler University, Nored was a member of the Bulldogs’ team that reached back-to-back National Championship games in 2010 and 2011. Brad Stevens, his coach at Butler and boss in Boston, said of the hire, "I'm really happy for Ron. I love Ron. He's one of the all-time great leaders I've ever coached. It's great for him to figure out what he wants to do and the levels he wants to be at, with all of the different things he's been able to do as a college assistant this year and with us. That's a great thing for him."
Andrew Baker, 26, coordinator, strategic planning. Hired in March. Baker joins the Nets after working with the Spurs for nearly a year as a quality assurance assistant. Baker, a lawyer, had previously been a basketball operations and legal intern for the Spurs while attending Tulane Law School. He had also worked as an intern for Madison Square Garden, the Mets and New Orleans Saints.
What's next? According to league sources, Marks has a number of staffers ready to join the club. He had promised a staff expansion when he met with the press in February and a number of former staffers, including Tim Walsh, the trainer, and Gary Sussman, vice president for public relations have been let go.