Back when the Nets were considering Sean Marks for the GM job, the organization liked what they heard from Marks in his job interview. But they needed to do their due diligence, go to the source, ask the questions.
So, of course, one of the first people they called was Gregg Popovich, who had been Marks coach, had hired him as an assistant coach, worked with him as an assistant GM. No surprise that Popovich praised his protege. If the Nets didn’t hire him, the New Zealander with two rings could easily be either Pop’s or GM R.C. Buford’s successor.
Brooklyn hired Marks, of course, and are now set out on a long rebuild, its length made all the more obvious Monday night when the depleted Spurs roster roasted the Nets, 112-86, without Pau Gasol, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, and of course, Tim Duncan.
Pop made it clear that no matter how bad things look now, the Nets will make it through this long night.
“He’s one of my favorite people of all time,” Popovich said of Marks pre-game. “The big lug. He’s intelligent, humorous, hard-working, great fun to be around, has a great knack for the game and understands what it takes, and he’s got the staying power and the persistence to use the long view and get it done the right way. He’s a special guy.”
Marks, of course, returned the compliment.
“They’ve got a system in place,” Marks said. “They’re a tremendous organization and have great people around them on the court and off the court.”
More than words, Marks has gone out and hired at least seven staffers with a Spurs’ pedigree, starting with assistant GM Trajan Langdon and assistant coach Jacque Vaughn.
Will it work? It has to.