On WFAN: Nets GM Marks Reflects On Big Offseason

Joe & Evan
July 16, 2019 - 2:28 pm
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Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks generally maintains a cool and collected demeanor, but even he admits he's been pumped about how free agency turned out for his team.

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The Nets have been the talk of the NBA this summer after landing two of the biggest prizes in free agency -- Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. 

"I'm not going to lie, there's been a couple of times I'm definitely excited about -- Kevin for sure, the whole group and really the challenge of getting all these guys together on the same page and watching how it unfolds," Marks told WFAN's Evan Roberts on Tuesday. "I think that's the magic and that's the real special piece where you see elite talent ... want to play together and see who's going to sacrifice what and who's going to bring what to the table and just see how they all mesh."

Marks insisted even he didn't know that Durant had chosen the Nets until the 10-time All-Star announced it on his company's Instagram page just minutes after free agency kicked off June 30. 

"What we knew was we were either getting a teleconference call with Kevin that night or we were going to potentially get a meeting," Marks said. "We'd seen some media reports earlier in the day that Kevin had crossed several teams off his list and we were still one of them (being considered). And those reports were there for everybody to read. And when Kevin posted it on The Boardroom Instagram site, that was news to all of us in the office."

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Durant, of course, might not play until the 2020-21 season after rupturing the Achilles tendon in his right leg during the NBA Finals. Marks said when Durant went down with the injury he didn't immediately think about what it might mean for the Nets.

"I felt devastated for the guy -- for Kevin and for Golden State, to be at that point and that juncture in their season and to go through that," he said. 

"And I remember, like (coach) Kenny (Atkinson) and I immediately had a conversation on the phone, and we were just, 'Wow, that's brutal! Can you believe that just happened?' And I don't think either one of us said anything about us and him being a target initially. As the dust sort of settles and you get together with your group and your performance team and you sort of say, 'OK, what does this look like? If this does become a reality for us, what are we facing here? What are we looking like?' And I'm going to bet on my performance team here every day."

Marks wouldn't say one way or the other whether Durant will play for Brooklyn during the 2019-20 season.

"I have no idea," he said. "We're certainly not going to rush him back. There's going to be absolutely none of that. We have far too much invested in him, and we owe it to Kevin to get him back to 100%."

As for Irving, the Nets GM said he wasn't scared off by rumors of locker-room discord between the star point guard and the Boston Celtics last season.

"I think you certainly have to try and figure out what happened, why did it happen, what can we learn from this?" Marks said. "But first and foremost -- and probably the most important piece -- is to sit down and give the young man his time and say, 'Kyrie, hey look, how do we make this a success for you? What do you need from us? This is how we're going to play. This is our system and so forth. This is how we think you could benefit from being in our system and so forth and within our culture, and this how you can help drive it. What do you think to that?'"

To listen to the interview, click on the audio player above.