GM Sean Marks will consult numerous Nets players on his coaching search.
It’s been widely speculated that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving played a prominent role in the Brooklyn Nets’ shocking decision to fire head coach Kenny Atkinson. We still don’t know the extent to which the two superstars were involved, but the report that revealed they would prefer a high-profile head coach really suggests they wanted somebody else at the helm shortly after arriving in Brooklyn last summer.
At the very least, we can expect Durant and Irving to have a major say in who the Nets decide to hire as Atkinson’s heir apparent this offseason.
However, fans will be pleased to hear that general manager Sean Marks will seek the opinions of several players on the roster. According to the New York Post, he will reach out to the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and (most likely) Caris LeVert throughout the hiring process, all of whom were potentially thought to be on the block.
“Yeah, I would say it would totally be not incredibly smart of us if we did not involve some of these key players in this decision. And that not only goes for Kevin,” Marks told WFAN last month. “Kevin, Kyrie; we’re going to pick their brains on what they’re looking for in a leader, what they want in a coach, what they need. The guys have been brutally honest so far.”
This is undoubtedly the right call by Marks, and we don’t mean that as a slight to the intelligence of Durant and Irving, who will clearly determine Brooklyn’s ceiling moving forward. However, the performance of players like LeVert and Dinwiddie this season in the superstar duo‘s absence proved that they deserve to have their voice heard in the hiring process.
This is, after all, a team.
Speaking of which, the Nets’ head coaching job is currently held by Jacque Vaughn, who posted an impressive 7-3 regular season record during his interim post. Many fans in Brooklyn believe he deserves at least one more season to prove himself, but Marks is understandably keeping his options open.
The latest reports indicate that Gregg Popovich and Tyronn Lue, who are admitted favorites of Durant and Irving, have emerged as leading candidates alongside Vaughn. We have zero idea as to which direction the Nets are headed, but it’s extremely reassuring to know that the 45-year-old GM will touch base with other members of the team’s core before coming to a final decision.