Behind the Nets’ Success Is a Carefully Crafted Culture and, Finally, a Clue

“There probably are very few people who had careers as long as Sean had while getting as few minutes, and there’s a good reason for that,” stated R.C. Buford, the San Antonio Spurs’ normal supervisor, for whom Marks performed for 2 seasons and apprenticed as an assistant coach and entrance workplace government.

“In every role he’s had, he’s been a culture builder,” Buford stated.

Around the N.B.A., that phrase — tradition — has turn out to be like a handy catchphrase, a gap assertion for greatest intentions.

“People use it all the time — they’re going to work hard, play defense, play for the team — but how many actually do?” stated P.J. Carlesimo, whose N.B.A. stops in teaching and broadcasting have included San Antonio and Brooklyn. “Because of his time with the Spurs, Sean knows what a good locker room is like.”

For distinction, take the Knicks. Their new administration crew additionally talks up tradition creation, however their stylistic strategy in Coach David Fizdale’s first season has been archetypal Y.M.C.A. choose-up. The Knicks’ entrance workplace claims operational independence from the crew proprietor, James L. Dolan, however can’t even name a casual information convention with out tailoring the visitor checklist to his petty grievances.

In San Antonio, the place the Holt household has with out query left the basketball individuals alone, Marks was instructed in no unsure phrases that he might nicely be a bridge to a future with out Gregg Popovich, the 70-year-old head coach and crew president.

But the clean slate in Brooklyn — the place possession is a largely absentee and ambiguously directed partnership between Mikhail Prokhorov and Joseph Tsai — introduced a clean-slate problem that was extra intriguing than daunting.

“We knew there were going to be some dark days,” Marks stated. “But we all gave up good jobs because we thought we had a chance to build something special.”

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