Are the Brooklyn Nets FINALLY in good hands?
Don’t look now but the Brooklyn Nets may have finally gotten it right. Since the hiring of Sean Marks as the General Manager, every move made following has been a smart. It seems as though the days of headline chasing are over and we’re making starting to make smart basketball decisions already. The Brooklyn Nets are finally showing signs of competence. And I have every reason to believe that this off-season will be a good one.
Now I love hearing and reading about sports rumors as much as the next fan but the Nets started to make me hate them. All the rumors attached to our organization felt TMZ-like during the Billy King era. The Nets would have their names in the rumor mill for non-sense too often for things that never happened. Couldn't be any happier when that quagmire came to an end in the mid-point of the ‘15/’16 season.
Sean Marks got hired and immediately started cleaning up the debris left by Billy King. The Joe Johnson buyout showed he was serious about getting this team going in the right direction immediately. The Andrea Bargnani buyout was a no brainer... Man, that guy is HORRIBLE! It's unbelievable how bad Bargnani was. The beauty of Marks’ moves is that they’re being done privately and not spoken until the process is finalized. Might seem like a small deal but that’s not the way we handled matters under Bad Ass Billy King. The Nets seems to have learned from these past mistakes and are moving forward with some professionalism. We hired Sean Marks with hopes that he’d bring some of that Spurs mold over here and it seems to be in effect already.
Days after the season ended, the Nets hired a new head coach, Kenny Atkinson who is currently still an assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks. I was familiar with the name but didn’t know much about him. Almost EVERYTHING that I’ve read following the hire has been extremely positive. From players to coaches and even the media , there has been nothing but good things said about him and this hire. He’s credited for Jeremy Lin’s success during the Linsanity days in New York. Current Atlanta Hawks players speak very highly of this guy. For such a messy gig that “nobody wanted”, we seemed to have filled that position quickly with a guy who is said to be one of the top NBA ready coaches that was to be available in the off-season. That’s very interesting to me. The talk of Atkinson adds to the intrigue of the future of the Brooklyn Nets and makes me comfortable knowing that with very limited draft picks, we are headed in the right direction.
The days of forceful headline making moves are done but I have a feeling the minor moves that Marks is making will somehow lead to a big bang. I expect Sean Marks to continue making under the radar moves that are going to help birth an actual system and culture that will allow us to remain competitive until a big move presents itself. I don’t expect any big splashes through free agency this off-season unless we somehow luck up with Kevin Durant. Really hoping we take a chance. Maybe Jay-Z can work some magic and get Brooklyn its first real superstar. Brook Lopez, Thad Young, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are good pieces to go forward with. As I’ve said many times throughout this horrible season, a talented scoring wing and actual starting point guard turns us from a 20-win team to at least an 8th seed competitor. I still like the potential of the rookie Chris McCullough, and I loved the signing of former D-Leaguer Sean Kilpatrick.
It seems like we have hired some workhorses who are excited about the process of turning this thing around. We still have an owner in Mikhail Prokhorov who I am sure is still willing to spend the green. This time around we can't give the funds to just anyone anymore. Only those deserving and those who genuinely want to represent Brooklyn. I can't tolerate another Deron Williams situation ever again.
I’m hype about this turn around. And if you're one of the handful of Nets fans out there as well, you should be too. Change is coming.