It’s fair to say Sean Marks is in love with D’Angelo Russell.
That’s the overwhelming takeaway from Sean Marks’ interview with Sirius XM NBA on Tuesday. Marks talked about just how excited he is about adding the 6’5” guard to the Nets’ “dynamic.” It’s more than his potential as a player, Marks said. “The more I get to know D'Angelo, the more I like the person.”
The addition of Russell was the dominant theme in the excerpts SiriusXM released from Joel Meyers and Tim Legler interview with Marks Tuesday. The other theme was about his and the organization’s desire to see “progress every year” in the rebuild. Everyone is patient, Marks said, but everyone understands as well the need for improvement.
Here’s his comments on Russell, including his belief that D-Lo and Jeremy Lin can work together...
“I've followed D'Angelo for many years now, going back to college. And myself, along with a lot of executives around the league have been enamored with the potential there.
“I was excited and the whole front office and coaching staff here was excited about being able to add a talent like that to our roster. And when you really look at it and you say, the guy's only 21 years old. We could have drafted players older than him.
“The fact that he's got a couple of years experience already under his belt in the league, probably looking for a new set of circumstances, a new environment, which we're happy to give him, and we'll see.
“I don’t know where his sort of ceiling is. We like his size. We like his passing ability. And the more I get to know D'Angelo, the more I like the person. We've spent a lot of time together and I think he fits with how we want to play. So we're excited there.
“You asked about how he and Jeremy fit together. I think there's a buzzword in this league, position-less basketball, where maybe 10 years ago, you'd say, 'he's a point guard, he's a shooting guard or he's a stretch 4.' Now, it's 'this guy's a wing.' or 'he's a guard. He's versatile.' Those are the things people want to hear and see. Just the fact that we're able to add talent like D'Angelo ... He and Jeremy will share the ball a lot. they'll play together a lot. It just gives us another dynamic, another weapon to use.”
On the rebuild, Marks said the fans “demand” that steady progress and noted, “the roster will continue to evolve here for the next couple of years for sure.”
“It starts with ownership. If ownership is on board with the process, and having patience, which they are — and we’ve talked at length about it and staying patient and not having pressure on us right now to sign a certain guy or do a certain thing.
“We want to see progress every year. I know Kenny does, I know I do. The fans demand it. So I think now with the change in the roster —and the roster will continue to evolve here for the next couple of years for sure— they’ll see a direction in how we want to play, where we want to head here.
“I think Kenny is competitive. That’s one of the things I love about him. The whole coaching staff is competitive. You can see that in practices, you can see that in the way they conduct themselves on a daily basis. And that sort of runs through the entire organization here, from the players all the way through, in the front office, the performance team, everybody here. We all signed up for this job. We knew the cards we were dealt. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for themselves. We’re certainly not going to feel sorry for ourselves.
“So it’s a great challenge. That was one of the things I was enamored about when I decided to take the job ... A lot of people don’t believe in it, a lot of people think this is going to be extremely difficult to do. Yes! No question it’s going to be difficult! But we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it, we’re doing it with the right people. From our analytics staff, from our performance staff, from our scouts, from everybody here. If we all pull in the right direction, it’s only going to help us.”
The comments are excerpts from the longer interview carried on “Above the Rim,” the daily Sirius XM program hosted by Meyers and Legler.