GM Sean Marks discusses state of Nets after parting ways with Steve Nash

Nets GM Sean Marks news conference after Steve Nash firing
Nets GM Sean Marks news conference after Steve Nash firing

Nets general manager Sean Marks spoke to the media Tuesday evening to discuss the state of the organization after parting ways with head coach Steve Nash earlier in the day.

Assistant coach Jacque Vaughn will serve as acting head coach for the Nets against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night, while the team will make a decision on the next head coach in the near future. Brooklyn is expected to hire Ime Udoka, who was suspended for the season by the Boston Celtics, as the Nets head coach, SNY's Ian Begley reported.

Here are some key takeaways from the news conference:

Input from players on parting ways with Nash

"Zero, there was zero input from any of the players on this," Marks said. "I think this was a decision that we didn't need that, Steve and I didn't need that. Obviously, I've talked to Joe [Tsai] about this, but the players were not consulted. They were told ahead of time that this was the direction we were going to today, but I don't think we needed that, that input right now.

"What changed? I thought our coaching staff, and I mentioned media day, our coaching staff had done a hell of a job and continue to do a heck of a job getting this group ready and preparing throughout the summer. The sweat equity was the best I've seen, to be quite frank. Now, it just wasn't panning out on the court. Whether it was a voice in the locker room, a change needed, I could list the distractions. I don't want to get in there because I think I know how competitive Steve is. I think if sat here and listed one by one all the things that he had to go through over his tenure here, I'd be doing him a disservice because he doesn't want excuse, that's not who he is.

"He has certainly not had an even playing field over two and a bit years here. And for that I definitely feel some responsibility because this does not fall on him. I take a great deal of responsibility in creating the roster, hiring staff, bringing people in whether that's free agency or draft and what have you. It's completely unfair to state the effect of where we are as a team, as an organization purely on Steve."

On reports of already determining next head coach

"No, absolutely not, no," Marks said. 

Expectations of next head coach

"I think when I look at the group of guys out there, I'd love to see them competing at the highest level," Marks said. "We saw games this year where, I'll be honest, I don't think we brought it. And I'm not going to sugarcoat it. There were times where there was a quarter was taken off, a half was taken off, a game was taken off, we didn't compete. And it's not just the players, I think it's all of us. I talk about being a competitive organization and a competitive environment, that falls on all of us, and we're looking to bring that.

"The candidates that we're looking for are going to be bringing that, that's going to be one of their attributes, competitive. Having a voice and being able to hold guys accountable, the same things we've mentioned over the course of the last few years. That's what we want to do."

Marks added: "Whenever you're bringing anybody in here, it doesn't matter if it's a new head coach or whether it's an intern, it doesn't matter. You're doing your due diligence on everybody's background. You're looking at past relationships, prior relationships, current relationships, you name it, to make sure you're bringing in the right people at the right time for the right job."

Message to fans that have lost faith in team

"Look it's understandable, you know," Marks said. "I'm completely empathetic to what's going on here. I'm certainly not proud of the situation we find ourselves in. I would like to turn ESPN or the TV on and not find you talking about us in that manner to be quite frank. I'd like to get back to basketball, I think that's what our players would like to get back to, they'd like to focus on the things that are important here. And that's competing at the highest level and playing basketball games.

"As it pertains to Kyrie [Irving], I mean we are having discussions like it's been mentioned, some internal, some external discussions. I know from the highest levels we are involved with the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and getting their advice. Just hopefully they can advise us, we can bring something to the table that both parties, all parties can be at least understandable to one another here and understand that there is no tolerance and no room for any hate speech, any antisemitic remarks whatsoever, whether it's in this organization or any organization for that matter."

On not disciplining Irving

"I think we are having these discussions behind the scenes, I honestly don't want to really get into those right now," Marks said. "We are taking the advice, as I mentioned before, we are talking to the ADL right now, that's on the Joe Tsai level, our CEO, and myself and a group. And really just try to weigh out exactly what the best course of action is here. Part of it is going to get both sides to understand where people are coming from. There's an education piece for everybody here, as I've mentioned before there's an empathetic piece to this and an understanding that we need to move on and we need to do the right thing without a doubt."