One thing Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford never had to deal with as Spurs coach and GM was a change in ownership. Peter Holt and his family have owned the team for nearly a quarter century and there’s no indication they’ll be selling anytime soon.
But Sean Marks, who’s modeled his rebuild of the Nets after the Spurs experience, may very well have to deal such a change soon. It’s become increasingly likely that Mikhail Prokhorov will soon sell at least a minority stake in the Nets with a promise to sell the rest at a future date, generally assumed to be three years.
“We cross that bridge when the time comes,” Marks told Brian Lewis Monday. “For the time being its business as usual, and until I’m informed otherwise I’m going about the vision we started out trying to get to, and the necessary strategic steps along the way.
“That’s the way we’re going to conduct business here from the coaching staff, the front office and so forth. Mikhail and I have open conversations about this, so there’s no sort of surprises and so forth.”
Lewis and Josh Kosman of the Post wrote earlier Monday that a sale of at least a minority stake could come in “days or weeks.” Marks didn’t dispute that something could happen. In fact, Lewis now reports that suitors for the Nets, as yet unidentified, could acquire full ownership, that Prokhorov may agree to sell 100 percent of the team.
“I think it will not be three years to take control. I think it will be now,” one NBA source told the Post. “I would not be shocked if it happens right now.”
So what would that mean for the Nets and their rebuild? That of course will be up to the new owner(s) if 100 percent of the team is sold or a combined management if it’s a minority stake. Marks told Lewis the key is that neither ownership nor management is surprised.
Marks has an open line of communication with Prokhorov and they speak regularly.
“I think he values it,” Marks said of the connection “That’s the way we started off on Day 1. We started off with an open line of communication. It’s important for both of us to be on the same page. He’s not here every day, so in order for him to get a feel for the pulse of the team (we need communication).”
Prokhorov has supported Marks in his rebuild, Marks said, noting he was on board with the $106 million offer to Otto Porter, which the Wizards matched.
“It’s very reassuring,” Marks told the Post. “But it’s not a surprise, because when I signed on we were all on the same page. This wasn’t a ‘Yes, I’d love to be the GM of the Nets, (but) I’m going to be hamstrung and not able to bring in X, Y and Z.’ Mikhail and Dmitry (Razumov, Onexim CEO) have been terrific in communication we’ve had. We’re all on the same page.”
Any new owners, of course, will review operations, both business and basketball, but with both Prokhorov and most of the NBA praising Marks efforts, it seems unlikely there will be any major changes in the near future.
- How Nets GM is coping with owner’s looming sale of team - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- With Nets up for sale, GM Sean Marks tries to keep vision alive - Greg Logan - Newsday