Brooklyn Nets: Sean Marks…Do Your Job!

Brooklyn Nets, Sean Marks

Now, this title isn’t to say by any means that Sean Marks hasn’t done a stellar job since taking on the mantle of the GM of the Brooklyn Nets. From bringing in D’Angelo Russell to his draft choices over the years to being able to attract marquee free agents this summer, Marks has had plenty of room for error yet made very few.

He’s been applauded for what he’s been able to do in one of the toughest positions in the league, if not the toughest, and he’s been applauded for the culture that he was able to build.

That culture was not easy to establish. It was not easy to build. It took a lot of time and effort and dark times to create. Today that culture takes another hit this off-season. First with a new member of the Brooklyn Nets, Wilson Chandler, who was handed a hefty 25 game suspension from the NBA for indulging in PEDs. Let me say that Chandler does claim that he and his doctor did not know the substance was an illegal one.

Now we hear the news that Rodions Kurucs was arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. The news was broke from the New York Daily News.

Kurucs allegedly screamed, “I am going to kill myself!” He allegedly put his hand around the woman’s throat and choked her, then forced her to march to his bed.

The 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward allegedly pushed her on the bed, slapped her in the face twice, bit her lip and then picked her up and tossed her on the bed hard enough to hurt her ribs, the sources said.

She also suffered bruising to her ribs and face, according to prosecutor Wilfredo Cotto during the arraignment. Cotto said there are no pictures of her injuries, and noted the then-couple went to Las Vegas the next day.

Now let me say outright, as the details are laid out, this situation is horrific, disgusting, and completely UNACCEPTABLE! Every story has 3 sides. Kurucs’, his girlfriend’s, and the truth, but it’s hard if not impossible to think of any story that can excuse or condone these actions.

What is noteworthy and what I think has been glanced over in all this is what Rodions Kurucs yelled. “I am going to kill myself!” Those are not words without significant weight. That is something serious within itself. I don’t know what caused the argument or what led to the altercation between the two parties, but could Kurucs be suffering from some kind of mental illness or troubles? Could he possibly be suicidal? And possibly how could he have been provoked.

Via Stefan Bondy, the Nets made the following statement concerning Kurucs Saga:

After learning of the allegations against Rodions Kurucs, we notified and are assisting the League Office as they begin the process of gathering more information. The Nets organization takes allegations of this nature with extreme seriousness. While the investigation is underway and as we continue to learn more, we will refrain from commenting further.

Now, on one hand, it is always good not to overreact and be at the mercy of the mob. It’s better to get things right vs to appease the mob for its desire for a public execution.

On the other hand, the lack of response to the Chandler situation may give fans and eyes across the league the wrong idea. Either way, these allegations are BIG. Especially towards a young player who was a fan favorite and had a bright future ahead of him.

I hope the legal system gets things right. I hope the young lady involved is ok, even if it turns out she was the one to ignite this whole thing. Even if she was, doesn’t mean she needs to be harmed physically, just needs to face the law as justice demands. I hope Kurucs gets the help he potentially needs if he is indeed mentally ill. This is a reminder to Nets fans everywhere on humility.

Lastly, Sean Marks, you have tough decisions ahead. I hope you make the right one. It’s hard to imagine him cutting a player so beloved by the fans and his teammates, a player who was such a big part of our success last year, but no amount of talent excuses you from wrongdoing.

So Marks, do your job. Uphold the Culture!

UPDATE:

Via The Glue Guys:

Spoke to NYPD, they say Kurucs turned himself into police this morning. Kurds had an attorney with him. Police say Kurucs allegedly choked a 32 year old woman (that the Daily News says was his girlfriend)

Brooklyn Nets: Free Agency Fun Part 1 – What about Andray Blatche?

Brooklyn Nets, Sean Marks

Well, it’s the off-season. The Finals are a thing of the increasingly distant past, the NBA Draft is right on its heels, and every major player has pretty much left the free agency boards. Things are more or less set in stone with just a few loose ends needing to tied. So with this series, I’m going to just throw out some names that remain out there in the Free Agency Pool. I don’t truly believe that Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets brass are looking at these players, but these are players I wouldn’t mind the organization taking a chance on.

So let me get this player out the way quick, fast, and in a hurry. I would love it if Andray Blatche found his way back to Brooklyn, New York. The native-born New Yorker had his ups and downs throughout his career, but he easily had the best stretch of his career in Brooklyn, which has become somewhat of a place to resurrect your career.

You can ask D’Angelo Russell, who is gone, but not forgotten. During his tenure in Brooklyn, Blatche basically averaged 11 PPG and 5 RPG in the 20 minutes of play he was given a game. Blatche loved Brooklyn and became a fan favorite of sorts. He even wished to be brought back, but management seemed to want to go in a different direction.

What would make Andray Blatche such a key addition? Similar things to why he was a good role-playing piece with the Nets from 2012-2014. Blatche isn’t one of those bigs who can kind of dribble and then get the moniker of being able to handle the rock. He legit looks like he has the ball on a string. Plenty of times he’s used a wide array of crossovers, behind the back moves, step backs, in and out, and whatever else that was in his arsenal to create open space and attack the basket.

He’s a highly skilled big man off the dribble and is a capable passer. His time spent in the NBA wasn’t a great one from beyond the arch, but Blatche is more than capable from mid-range. His handle was good enough to shift bigs out of position and get to the rack while he had the size to still be effective in the post.

Blatche fits one of Brooklyn’s two needs. That being a legitimate power forward. While we have players who can play the 4 (Wilson Chandler, Kurucs, Nic Claxton, and maybe Prince), Blatche brings size to fit both the 4 and 5 without worrying about giving up size, weight, or experience at the position.

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Blatche also brings another veteran scoring option off the bench who can be a mentor to the youth, specifically Nic Claxton. Claxton was a point guard until he had a growth spurt and aspired to be like Kevin Durant. So with a similar skill set as Claxton, Blatche can teach the youth how to better utilize his skills along with possibly showing him a few of his own tricks.

And lastly, Blatche is a goofy (and I mean this in the most respectful way possible), fun loving guy. He’s a great energy guy and that is why he was a fan favorite. He’d fit right in with Brooklyn’s fun-loving, energetic, dance-crazed bench. Him, DeAndre Jordan, and Theo Pinson would all bring laughs, smiles, and positive energy to this team.

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That’s one thing I’d love to have, our bench from 2013-14 and 2018-19 together. Nothing, but pure energy. So although Andray Blatche is probably content to finish out his career overseas and the Brooklyn Nets probably don’t have him on the radar, I for one would love to see him back in black.

How will Kevin Durant play into the Brooklyn Nets plans in 2019?

Brooklyn Nets, Kenny Atkinson

If there’s anything the Brooklyn Nets can guarantee, it’s that they’re not sure whether superstar signing Kevin Durant will play during the 2019 season. The question is — how will he influence the team from the sideline?

On an interview with WFAN’s Mike Francesa, Kenny Atkinson stated “It’s way too early” to tell when Durant will return. The evaluation process is still in progress and a timetable for a potential return is not yet set.

However, the New York Nets’ head coach commented on the role Durant will play next season:

“I know I need his basketball acumen around and his leadership. First and foremost is his rehab and getting that right. We are going to use him. We might have to give him an assistant coach’s salary.”

“You need to use guys like that. We’re going to need his leadership this year. I know I have talked to him about it. He’s excited about that. We have already started our conversations.”

With some younger players still looking to break out and make a bigger impact, Durant is the perfect mentor and leader to help them reach their potential and make the most out of the boat-load of money Brooklyn dropped on Kevin and Kyrie Irving.

Using Durant once he returns has Atkinson staying up at night:

”I have a ton of things in my mind how we can use Kevin to his best abilities. He can play all five positions. When Kyrie is out, you can play him at the point. He’s maybe the best wing scorer, him and LeBron, in our era. It’s going to be exciting to try and fit him in into these different spots and use him as well as we can…”

Convincing one of the best basketball players of all time to skip over the New York Knicks and come to a smaller team in Brooklyn is the male version of the “Notebook.” While sitting out injured is unfortunate, his return will be something special for an organization preparing to take the leap to big brother.