Sean Marks & Kenny Atkinson: Top Quotes
Nets GM and coach covered an array of topics in their media session
Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks and head coach Kenny Atkinson met the media on Thursday afternoon.
On what he wants to work on the offseason as a coach:
"I think it’s those last 15 games and the playoffs. I feel like they were all playoff games. Sure we analyzed those games and went through it but I’d really like to go back and look at that end of the season, really analyze the playoffs closely because as we all know it’s a different animal. I think there are things I could have done better and I’m going to analyze it, look at it, work on it, and then, as always, you’re doing a review of the season on both sides of the ball and seeing things you could tweak. Obviously it depends with the players we have on our roster next year, but there will be a thorough review. I know just all around I have to get better, just like the players. I have strengths and weaknesses and gonna keep working on them."
On impact of performance staff:
"I think that’s one thing, from day one, from even when we had the interview, that’s where Sean and I were on the same page. We were both, had backgrounds, my background in development and marrying that with performance in Atlanta and obviously Sean’s role in San Antonio. So we had a common, shared passion for that department. I think we both understood and understand how important it is. What I love, what we built there is a global staff. It’s world sport. It’s understanding, obviously, the NBA but also getting great idea from people that weren’t in the NBA their whole lives. We’ve really got great diversity there. Our players have embraced it. I think the old school was for a guy who’s been in the NBA for 20 years to be in that department. But I’ve learned a ton from that group and as a coaching staff we’re connected with them. I think players feel that and they’re benefitting from it. At the end of the day, I know when I played, it was if I feel good I’m going to play good. Especially when you get older, Jared Dudley, if you feel good – they have the corporate knowledge, they understand how to play the game – but if you go out there and your body is feeling great you’re going to bring it and play well. I think we understand what that’s all about."
On next steps:
"A huge credit to Sean and his group. We got the right players, we signed the right players, we drafted the right players, we traded for the right players. That’s really the story of the season and now the challenge for us and Sean is, I know the message yesterday was went want more. I don’t think we’re sitting here satisfied. Obviously it’s always been about strategic and gradual improvement and I’d like to continue that without making outlandish statements about championships and all that stuff. I think we’re going to double down on the way we’ve been doing things no matter what our roster looks and a heavy emphasis on development and culture and all that and I’m really proud and convinced that this is the way to do it. Considering the predictions and everything before the season, it kind of confirms a little bit, ‘Hey this is the right way to do it.’ Our process is right and we’re going to keep it in the same direction.”
On using three picks, two first-rounders, in the draft:
“I think that’s all a good problem to have. So the fact that we have multiple picks is terrific. It’s just more tools on our toolbox. I think it would be really irresponsible to say we’ll use it in this way or that way. I think you guys have heard me talk before; we really don’t know how we’re going to use it. We’re going to have to be flexible and see where it goes. And obviously if the right guys are there and the guys that we’re targeting in the draft, we’ll welcome him, we’ll develop him, we’ll love him and care for him like we do everybody else. And if we feel that maybe strategically it’s more in line with what we’re trying to do is move one, two or all, we’ll go from there and see where it goes. I can’t really give you a definitive answer on that one.”
On goals for next season:
“Well I think when you look back at when the players preseason had their media availability, and if it wasn’t to a man it was 10 of them all said our goal is to make the playoffs; why can’t we do this? And it was led by our vets, which is great. I don’t think Kenny or I or anybody else had to stand up and say this was going to be our goal for the year. They continued to push even through when we had some adversity, you know when Caris obviously was hurt and so forth. These guys continued, it was almost that next-man-up mentality, which is great. So moving ahead, next year a lot will depend on where the roster fits before we set out and say our goal, whether its playoffs or wherever it may be in the playoffs. It’ll be predetermined by how that roster looks.”
On the team's likability and connection with fans:
I think that was definitely one of the bright spots of this season because you can’t fake that. That’s genuine. It’s got to be real. I think when you see Alan (Williams), Theo (Pinson), Dzanan (Musa) who were in Long Island and bouncing back and forth, our players asked for them. The Brooklyn Nets guys that were here were saying, ‘Hey, when are they coming back? We need them around. We love having those guys around.’ It’s contagious. I think you see the play on the court. You see how the guys compete. You see it’s a fun and exciting brand of basketball. You see how the bench, and they really and truly are all in this for each other. That’s special. Again, you can't fake that, that’s not something that Kenny get up and give a halftime speech and say, ‘Guys, I need you to cheer for one another. They either do it or they don’t. I don’t think I’ve been around a group really ever that’s quite embraced each other like this group. It’s a credit to those guys because they’ve done a heck of a job."
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