The Brooklyn Nets have rebuilt their reputation around the NBA due in large part to the work of general manager Sean Marks and head coach Kenny Atkinson.
It seems to have paid off handsomely, as superstar Kevin Durant committed to the Nets on Instagram before he even spoke or met with the team, Marks said Tuesday, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
Durant's acquisition was officially announced over the weekend, and he underwent a full evaluation with Nets doctors and performance staff on Monday. Marks didn't provide a timeline for Durant's recovery from a ruptured Achilles suffered during Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Bondy adds.
Despite the serious injury, Brooklyn's medical team remained undeterred, and when questioned by Marks, unanimously agreed that the club should commit to a max contract for the free agent.
"That was a pretty moving moment," Marks told Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix. "When you know there’s a group of young men and women that are here saying, 'Hell, we can’t wait for that challenge. We cannot wait to sacrifice whatever it takes to get (Durant) out on the court again, and probably prove people wrong.'
"Again, it’s that sort of chip on your shoulder. Kenny and I talk about it a lot, players having that. But I think it’s also important that your entire organization has something to prove."
Under the leadership of Marks and Atkinson, Brooklyn has gone from bottom-dweller to playoff contender. The club won 20 games during the pair's first full season in charge in 2016-17. This past campaign, the Nets grabbed the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and posted a 42-40 regular-season record – a 22-win improvement from their first season under the new regime.