Sean Marks On WFAN: Nobody’s More Disappointed Than Kyrie Irving Following Injury

Nets GM Joins Joe Benigno And Evan Roberts

Joe & Evan
February 24, 2020 - 6:15 pm
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Kyrie Irving's injury-plagued season reached its end last week when general manager Sean Marks revealed Irving would undergo a procedure to repair his right shoulder injury. Having played 20 games in his first season in Brooklyn, Irving was shut down for the remainder of the season. 

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Brooklyn currently sits seventh among the Eastern Conference, three games under the .500 mark. WFAN's Evan Roberts actedly quick to call out the Nets' "disappointing season." Marks discussed the fallout of Irving's injury when he joined Roberts and Joe Benigno on Monday afternoon. 

"It is disappointing," Marks said on WFAN. "But nobody's more disappointed than probably Kyrie. Kyrie and I have had multiple heart-to-hearts and good conversations about how excited he was to be back here and play in front of a lot of family and friends on a nightly basis.

None of us like to say this but it's a long-term approach and we give (Irving) a lot of credit for battling along," Marks added. "He tried and gave it all he could but this is something a part of a journey and we'll embrace it."

Irving's shoulder issue is the latest in a string of injuries sustained throughout his nine-year career. He missed 26 games this season due to injury. Irving's record left Roberts to question Marks, "what gives you confidence Kyrie will stay on the floor?"

"I think there's a lot of confidence in the processes we have in place," Marks said. "Whether that's a performance and coaching staff, game management and so forth, we're definitely going to give him the best chance in which to stay injury free and be as healthy as he can for as long as he can be. I think you're going to look back at the injuries when — this isn't like he walked out on the court and strained a calf. These are sort of freak injuries."

Irving told reporters last month the Nets need "one more piece or two more pieces" to compliment Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Garrett Temple. 

"(Kyrie) and Kevin and the rest of the guys that have all signed on here, they hope to build this," Marks said. "I always take a select handful of player's opinions in terms of how we can build this. We've done this since Day 1. Because these guys know the players better than anyone else. ...They'll be brutally honest because they've got to go play with those guys. I think it's important to weigh their opinions from time to time.

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and guard Kyrie Irving (11) react in the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center
Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Benigno said the Nets have to win an NBA Championship while Irving and Durant are a part of the team. Marks credits the talented core - when healthy - to deliver the title within the short three-year window. 

"The whole goal here is nothing mediocre," Marks said. "It never has been. The goal here is to build this and to continue to build this. I think we have a great base to do it from ... when you're rolling out Kevin and Kyrie and a group of young guys as well that are coming into their own from Spencer (Dinwiddie) to Caris (LeVert) to Jarrett Allen and everybody else, they give us an opportunity here."

Related: Benigno: Nets Have To Win It All With Durant And Irving; Next Year Is All About Winning