Nets GM Sean Marks Thinks The Team’s Culture ‘Isn’t What It Quite Was’ But Is Optimistic That Will Change

The Brooklyn Nets had a tumultuous 2021-22 campaign that saw them make the playoffs via the play-in tournament before getting swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics. The season was largely defined not by their play on the court, but instead, by things like Kyrie Irving’s inability to play for long stretches of the year due to his decision to not get vaccinated against COVID-19 and everything surrounding the James Harden-for-Ben Simmons trade.

Because the team had aspirations of winning a championship at every turn and came up so spectacularly short, there have been questions asked about all the potential things that went wrong. One question posed to general manager Sean Marks during his end of season press conference on Wednesday was whether or not the franchise leaned too hard into player empowerment as a standard operating procedure, and Marks took some time to talk about the team’s overall culture.

Marks spent some time diving into how “your culture’s never done,” and how if they stuck exactly to the culture they built up during his first few years at the helm without trying to evolve, “it would have been a failure.” After mentioning that the challenges of building a roster around a pair of max players means they will look a little different every year, Marks explained that there are challenges the Nets will need to address.

“The culture is always gonna change and tweak as to who comes in here,” Marks said. “Did we take a step back? Without a doubt, without a doubt. The culture isn’t what it quite was, and it’s gonna be our job to pick that up. And between Steve [Nash] and myself, as leaders of that, we will certainly be doing that.

“But again, we’ve got to find the players again that are gonna drive that culture,” Marks continued. “It has to be driven by players. It cannot be driven by one or two people, it’s gotta be driven by the players, they’ve gotta want it, we’ve gotta find players, again, that have the characteristics that support that — which is gonna be a little bit of that grit and determination and fight.”