The last 48 hours have been “emotional” and ‘frustrating,” Sean Marks told reporters before the Heat game Wednesday, but declined to provide a timeline for Caris LeVert’s return from a dislocated foot.
“I never talk about timelines,” said Marks, adding, “Put it this way: I’ll never bet against Caris LeVert.”
It is indeed Nets policy not to provide a timeline for any injured player’s return. Orthopedists contacted by local media have suggested the 24-year-old could be out for two months with the injury, which is not common for basketball players.
In describing the immediate aftermath of the injury which took place with 3.7 seconds left in the first half vs Minnesota, Marks said, “It was emotional for sure. Whenever you see a young man go down like that, it’s heart-wrenching.”
Asked specifically about his personal reaction, Marks replied, “I’m not sure you can print that or put it into words.”
And while he was relieved after hearing from Nets medical staff that LeVert wouldn’t need surgery and is likely to return this season, Marks described the loss of his leading scorer as “extremely frustrating.”
“You’d love your whole group to be together but that’s the nature of pro sports,” Marks noted.
Both Marks and Atkinson avoided singling out any particular Net who will need to step-up in place of Caris LeVert, saying a collective effort will be needed.
“Guys are going to get bigger opportunities than they’ve had previously, but no one has to be a hero here,” said Atkinson.
Marks also said he took heart at the reaction of his locker room, saying he doesn’t think anything will take away from that show of team camaraderie. Several of the Nets broke down in the minutes after the injury as LeVert was treated, then placed on a stretcher. The team, reporters have noted, even accompanies the stretcher-borne teammate to the waiting ambulance.
Marks says Caris LeVert’s spirit has been “amazingly good.” He adds that LeVert was around his teammates earlier today. His coach agreed about LeVert’s character.
“The fact that he’s out and about is amazing ... but again, guys are more resilient than you think,” said Atkinson.
“It’s been a tough 48 hours ... the toughest for Caris. The emotions of when it happened to the diagnosis and learning it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be ... now we have another game in our face. We have to be ready.”
- Caris LeVert injury turned emotions of GM Sean Marks into ’roller coaster’ - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Nets relieved on Caris LeVert injury: ‘He had God on his side’ - Brian Lewis - New York Post