Brooklyn Nets basic supervisor Sean Marks has needed to cope with quite a few high-stress days and get via a handful of uncomfortable information conferences over the previous yr.
Tuesday was notably tough.
Marks needed to clarify why he mutually parted methods with coach Steve Nash simply seven video games into the season — whereas apparently already having engaged in an advanced course of to call a controversial potential alternative, reportedly Ime Udoka.
All of this information as Kyrie Irving had thrown the crew into yet one more tempest, which the Nets publicly had finished little about, with Marks having to deal with quite a few questions whereas Irving was spared from dealing with scrutiny for a second consecutive day.
In dealing with robust questions over these previous months, Marks usually would do it alongside Nash, a longtime good friend. Nash was relieved of this responsibility as effectively, and the final supervisor dealt with it alone.
This is an annotated have a look at what Marks stated — and did not say — because the franchise faces drama on no less than three totally different fronts:
Editor’s word: Interview edited for brevity
On whether or not Nets gamers have been consulted within the resolution to maneuver on from Nash:
“Zero. There was zero input from any of the players on this. I think this was a decision that we didn’t need that. Steve and I didn’t need that. Obviously I’ve talked to [owner] Joe [Tsai] about this, but the players were not consulted. They were told ahead of time that this was the direction we were going.”
On the timing of the mutual resolution between the Nets and Nash:
“When we’re having these conversations, [Nash] is aware of ‘they’re not responding to me right now,’ or ‘that was not the performance I needed to see out there,’ and so forth. We were open with that dialogue always happening. And so you know, over the course of, you know, the last week, 10 days, we’ve just been talking and talking, and I think it came to a head.”
It is exceptionally uncommon for an NBA coach to be let go on a sport day, a lot much less roughly 12 hours after a win (the Nets beat the Indiana Pacers 116-109 on Monday evening).
Marks defined the enterprise resolution had been within the works for days. If the timeline he refers to right here is correct, these conversations would have really began just a few days into the 2022-23 common season.
If Marks and Nash knew the place issues have been headed, it could have allowed the Nets to already start the method of vetting Ime Udoka’s state of affairs with the Boston Celtics.
On whether or not the Nets have decided their subsequent coach:
“No. Absolutely not.”
Marks might debate the that means of the phrase “determined,” however ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported inside hours of Nash’s departure that Udoka was prone to substitute Nash inside a day or two.
Contemplating the state of affairs with Udoka serving an opaque suspension whereas beneath contract with the Celtics, it’s ostensible the method of bringing in Udoka and sending out Nash has been happening for a while now.
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On what a brand new coach would convey to the Nets:
“When I look at the group of guys out there, I would love to see them competing at the highest level. I mean, we saw games this year where, I’ll be honest, I don’t think we brought it. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. There were times where a quarter was taken off, a half was taken off, a game was taken off. We didn’t compete. … The candidates that we’re looking for, are going to be looking for, that’s going to be one of their attributes. Competitive and having a voice to hold guys accountable.
This is the only time Marks was truly critical of Nash and the players throughout the news conference. Referring to a voice to hold players accountable might be a tell for the imminent hiring of Udoka, who crafted a reputation for doing just that with his star players during his one season as the head coach in Boston.
On whether the Nets would be comfortable hiring Udoka:
“Clearly, there is a motive why we made this transfer after we did, as a result of time is ticking. So we do need this course of to be an intensive one. We’re not going to skip steps on that. And we’ll do our due diligence.”
This was a coded question about Udoka and his suspension for improprieties in the workplace. Marks gave a coded answer, implying the Nets have looked into it but are still ready to make the hire because the season is already underway.
On how Nets fans should react to the latest news and controversy:
“Look, it is comprehensible. I am fully empathetic to what is going on on right here. I am actually not happy with the state of affairs we discover ourselves in, you recognize? … Because it pertains to Kyrie, we’re having discussions. … From the best ranges [that] we’re concerned with the ADL [Anti-Defamation League] and getting their recommendation and simply hopefully they’ll advise us. We are able to convey one thing to the desk that each events, all events could be no less than comprehensible to at least one one other right here and perceive that there isn’t a tolerance and no room for any hate speech, any antisemitic remarks by any means, whether or not it is on this group or any group for that matter.”
When Marks said this, Irving’s social media post referencing a movie with antisemitic tropes was five days old. Irving’s comments in which he defended his choices were three days old, as were the formal statements condemning them by both Nets owner Joe Tsai and the team itself.
Irving had deleted the post one day before. And it is also unclear the nature of the discussions Marks and the Nets have had.
On possible punishment for Irving:
“As I discussed earlier than, we’re speaking to the ADL proper now. That is on the Joe Tsai degree, our CEO and myself and the group, and actually simply attempting to weigh out precisely what one of the best plan of action is right here. A part of it’s going to be getting sides collectively to allow them to perceive the place individuals are coming from. There’s an schooling piece for everyone right here. There’s an empathetic piece to this and understanding that we have to transfer on and we have to do the best factor certainly.”
Marks implied there is going to be some sort of meeting between Irving, the Nets and the ADL, but he wasn’t clear on any such details.
Beyond a punishment, the topic of Irving still playing with the Nets is addressed:
“Now we have tried to perform a little little bit of each to be sincere. By conserving him — he didn’t do media final evening, he is not going to do media tonight. Sooner or later he’ll come up right here and do media once more, however I believe at this level it is, we do not wish to trigger extra fuss proper now, extra interplay with individuals. Like, let’s let him simmer down and let’s let this complete, I suppose let’s let cooler minds prevail. We have to exit and educate ourselves, educate the entire group and get some route, search from the specialists, and certainly one of them is actually the ADL.”
This is perhaps the most remarkable answer of the news conference. Marks admitted the team will continue to violate league rules by not letting Irving talk to the media because it might cause “a fuss.” Whether true or not, this could imply Irving is not ready to apologize while the team is not ready to take substantive action regarding his previous actions or comments.
The league did not announce any fine Tuesday for violation of media policy. Irving declined to speak to the media Monday night after he scored 28 points in helping the Nets break a four-game losing streak with eight fans sitting in the front row at Barclays Center wearing “Combat Anti-Semitism” T-shirts.
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On why Irving still isn’t talking with the media:
“Everyone is aware of he’ll need to reply these questions sooner or later, and he hasn’t kind of shied away prior to now, however I believe the final postgame assembly did not go effectively and we’re not attempting to cowl it up. I believe that is one thing that needs to be addressed, however let’s deal with it in the best kind or vogue, and when that’s we’ll allow you to guys know.”
The Nets are off Wednesday. Irving, who played one of his worst games as a Net on Tuesday night, scoring just six points, will not have addressed the media for four days. Players’ contracts and league rules require speaking to the media following each game.
On whether the Nets can still chase a title this season:
“… My job right here is to place this crew, this group in the absolute best place to succeed, not solely now however long run. We do not wish to skip steps. We do not wish to quick monitor it right here. However we do understand, I will be sincere, now we have a window right here and when now we have this group of gamers and this wage cap, and the place we’re, we hope to realize that. I believe we have all seen what’s occurred over the course of the previous couple of years, there’s been loads of groups that at one level appeared a sure method and made some strikes they usually modified. We hope to be a kind of groups, by [arriving] on the resolution we are going to [make] within the subsequent few days, hopefully, that will likely be a catalyst for a turnaround.”
The Nets have a $185 million payroll and are scheduled to pay $108 million in luxury taxes, so the investment in the team is more than a quarter billion dollars this season. Between 2023 and 2027, the Nets’ own first-round picks are owed to the Houston Rockets either outright or in swaps that dull any rebuild discussions.
There have been calls by some for the Nets to consider tearing it down and trading Irving and Durant. Marks seemed to make it clear with his answer: That is not happening. Replacing the coach is about giving this team every chance at success.
On how the Nets’ recent actions and changes will affect Durant:
“, I believe now we have to issue all of these items in. I imply, it is actually not a simple resolution to get to this explicit junction proper now and after we make the choice on who we are going to rent, I believe now we have to take a look at what’s finest for us now but additionally long run.”