After Sean Marks had become GM back in February, he noticed that players weren't showing up on time. Thaddeus Young had pointed it out. The result was some fines and a lecture. Marks cited what he saw in Brooklyn and how it compared to San Antonio.
"There was a little bit of responsibility that was potentially lacking," said Marks on WFAN this week.. "I told the guys in San Antonio — or anywhere for that matter to be successful — if you obviously have that disrespect and disregard for your teammates that you’re not building camaraderie, not building trust."
"It’s not really even Pop (Gregg Popovich). It's the players that monitor that themselves. It’s Tim [Duncan], Tony [Parker], Manu [Ginobili], Kawhi [Leonard]. If you’re going to show up 15, 20 minutes later — or even not 30 minutes early — you’re telling Tim Duncan, ‘Hey look, my time is more valuable than yours.’"
Asked if there was anyone currently on the Nets roster who could do that, Marks cited Lopez and Young. For his part Young said back in April that he got what Marks was doing.
"The biggest thing was we used to always have a few guys who were late coming in. … You have to be accountable for anything that you’re doing, be accountable for your mistakes. He made that felt as soon as he walked through the door,’’ said Young.
Quietly, the Nets are grooming Young as a team leader. Kenny Atklinson cited Young as his press conference, calling him "my guy.". For his part, Young held court after Atkinson was introduced and talked about how the organization had tasked him and Brook Lopez to recruit free agents. You're only asked to do that if you're seen as a team leader.
"I definitely have" been tapped to recruit players, Young said then. "I’m not at liberty to say who, but we definitely want top tier guys and we definitely want key guys, key aspects of what we need to win basketball games — which is a point guard and a wing."
It doesn't end at the locker room. The Nets website interviewed Young recently on character, citing family life.
"They’ve given me a lot of responsibility because I’m not just providing for myself, but I’m providing for my two young ones also," he said of his children. "They’ve taught me how to stay well-rounded and well-grounded. They’ve just put a lot of stability in my life that definitely a lot of guys need being in the NBA."
Of course, Young will have to be around to do all that, serve as both a recruiter and exemplar. The Nets, no doubt, have offers to move up in the Draft from 55th. And just speculating, you can see how Young would be nice asset. Marks has assured Young that the team sees him as a building block rather than an asset.
"I'm certainly not looking to trade them," Marks said of Lopez and Young. "But again, what I've said before is you have to be fluid. You never know what's gonna come your way. I hope that they're part of us."