At his opening press conference, Sean Marks promised a cultural shift but also a larger, better organized staff.
"The entire organization staff will be expanded, without a doubt," the told the media back in February. "Whether it’s scouting, front office — we got a D-league team, that staff will have to be built — there will be staff members that’ll be added to this.’’
So far, it appears that Marks is following through on that promise. A NetsDaily survey shows that the team has added 17 new staff and dropped 11 from Billy King's setup. Moreover, Marks has organized things, as one might expect.
The biggest change is on the coaching side of the building. The Nets went through last season --at least up through Lionel Hollins firing and Paul Westphal's departure-- with six assistants, one short of what the team had under Jason Kidd. It now appears the Nets will have a staff similar in size to Kidd's.
In addition to Kenny Atkinson, the Nets have reportedly hired five new coaching staff: Jacque Vaughn will be the lead assistant, coming over from San Antonio after a gig as head coach in Orlando. Chris Fleming, former assistant in Denver and German national team head coach, will be the second assistant and offensive guru. Adam Harrington will be an assistant and director of player development, having done that job as well as shooting specialist with Oklahoma City. Jordan Ott, who worked with Atkinson in Atlanta and on the Dominican Republic national team, will handle video while Will Weaver will be special assistant to the head coach, the same sport science-heavy role he had in Philadelphia.
In addition, the Nets will likely hire two more assistants, one a player development coach specializing in big men. No official announcement has been made on any of the staff other than Atkinson, but one is forthcoming, probably in the next week. (The Nets have announced the hiring of a head coach for the Long Island Nets, Ronald Nored, from the Boston organization. He is likely to hire an assistant and a trainer. The team already has a vice-president for business operations, Alton Byrd, a former British baller.)
Marks has not wiped out the old scouting staff but has replaced some members while retaining others. Gregg Polinsky, the long time player development director, aka chief scout, has reportedly signed a new deal. Two new scouts, including Shelden Williams, have been named.
The performance team, as noted last week, has been reorganized, with a director of player performance, Zach Weatherford. a new position, in charge of strength and conditioning as well as training and rehab. There are other new jobs, like a coordinator of strategic planning, Andrew Baker, and cap and contract specialist. Natalie Jay, Both are lawyers.
Marks has said he hoped that by the start of 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 change here. I want to get the right people in here, in free agency to lead this team forward..."
Free agency starts in two weeks.