So Edemeka began an experiment: He posted in a Nets Daily comment section that he’d purchased 20 extra tickets to an early-season game and that he wanted 20 Nets diehards to join him. Plenty of users thought this was an elaborate scam, but 20 people showed up.
First of all, if anyone in Chicago wants to repeatedly buy me a ticket to Bulls home games, let me know. I’ll be there.
This is no longer one of New York basketball’s get-rich-quick schemes. In the wake of that trade, without any foreseeable route to a quick rebuild, the Nets forged a long-term plan. They hired Sean Marks, a young executive who’d previously held a high-ranking position in the Spurs front office, to be their general manager. They brought in Kenny Atkinson, a high-energy, scheme-forward Hawks assistant, to be their head coach. Both have stuck around for three seasons and helped pull the team out of the abyss. Perhaps more importantly, they’ve given this franchise a sense of comfort and continuity that it has long lacked. They’ve given the Nets an identity.
This is a prime example of bringing in smart people. It’s no guarantee of success, there’s always a bit of luck when it comes to player progression and drafting, as well as taking advantage of opportunities like the Russell trade.
But in the end, this team (of Marks, Atkinson, and the others around them) continues to hit the mark when it comes to building a sustainable organization. They haven’t had many first round draft picks prior to Allen due to the decisions of past management, but they’ve been able to find young talent and add solid, veteran players around them.
They are still a major piece away, but they are on the exact right path. If only we could get some smart, new blood in Chicago to start down a more sustainable path as well.