Nets general manager Sean Marks felt the team was in a good place with its coaching staff heading into the season, despite a tumultuous summer, but after seven games, decided it was time to move on.
“We both felt this was time,” Marks said. “It was certainly trending in that way. To be quite frank, the team wasn’t doing what it was supposed to be doing. We’ve fallen from meeting our goals, and it was time now, because we still have lofty aspirations of where we need to get to.”
Nash received the backing of ownership this past summer when Kevin Durant reportedly gave Joe Tsai an ultimatum that both Marks and Nash had to go for him to revoke his trade request, but when it came to determining Nash’s fate after a 2-5 start, Marks said no players were brought into that decision making process.
“Zero,” Marks said when asked about player input. “There was zero input from any of the players on this. I think this was a decision - we didn’t need that. Steve and I didn’t need that…the players weren’t consulted. They were told ahead of time that this was the direction we were going, but we didn’t need that.”
For Marks, parting ways with Nash is accompanied by a sense of regret that the Durant saga was just one of many distractions that plagued the franchise during his tenure as head coach, from James Harden’s trade request to multiple Kyrie Irving controversies and the health of Ben Simmons.
“It just wasn’t panning out on the court. Whether it was a voice in the locker room, a change needed, and I can list the distractions,” Marks said. “I think if I listed all the things he had to go through over his tenure here, I’d be doing him a disservice, because he doesn’t want an excuse. That’s not who he is.
“He has certainly not had an even playing field over two years here, and for that, I certainly feel some responsibility, because it doesn’t all fall on him.”
As for who will take over next for the Nets, Marks wouldn’t comment on the reports that Ime Udoka would be coming from Boston, where he is currently serving a year-long suspension, but added that any candidate would be put through background checks.
“It doesn't matter if it's a new head coach or whether it's an intern. You're doing due diligence on everybody's background,” Marks said. “I really don’t think it’s up to me right now to give a list of candidates who we’re talking to…but I would say I would reserve that for when those decisions are made. I can’t give you a timeline on that.”
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