Plan B apparently included getting more international.
In an interview with Fred Kerber, Sean Marks talked about a lot of things but none more passionately than the value of international experience. He recalled what it was like in San Antonio where it wasn't uncommon to have half the roster hail from all points of the compass.
"We didn’t plan on, ‘Look, we need to get three Olympians,’ " Marks said. "When we did sit down, there was no secret we wanted to add an international flavor to the team."
His own personal experience --two Olympics with New Zealand a fourth place finish in the FIBA World Cup-- and what he saw in San Antonio were both big factors for him. Now, with the Olympics a little more than two weeks away, the Nets will have players from the Argentine (Luis Scola), Venezuelan (Greivis Vasquez) and Croatian (Bojan Bogdanovic) national teams on the roster ... as well as one, Anthony Bennett, who just missed when France beat Canada in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament last week.
"I always loved the flavor of having international guys on the team. I loved what it meant for Coach Popovich, how he used those guys and not only on the court," Marks said. "It was off the court how those guys really helped build that culture."
Marks told Kerber how Popovich had international players "bring the team closer" at dinners and pregame meetings by talking about their experiences.
"I saw it firsthand," Marks said. And it wasn't just off the court, he noted.
"The ball moves, guys make the extra pass, everybody can shoot," Marks said. "It’s really valuable those guys come back and show [younger players] what they learned overseas."
Marks pointed in particular at how Bogdanovic, who hit the dagger against Italy to get his his team into the Olympics, has been affected.
"Bojan had a tremendous pre-Olympic campaign. His confidence right now is through the roof because he’s taken Croatia, they’ve qualified for the Olympics and he’s been the leader."
As for the Nets chances of success, Marks didn't put a number on it. In fact, he completely eschewed talk of a win-loss record.
"I don’t know that we look at win-loss as goals," said Marks, who added his realistic aim is to observe "progress" and "development" this season. "This group will compete night-in, night-out. It will be demanded."