Eagle: Nets Were "NBA Siberia" Before GM Arrived

In just over three years, Sean Marks completed "one of the greatest transformations" in NBA history, Ian Eagle says

Taz and the Moose
July 03, 2019 - 10:06 am
Sean Marks Brooklyn Nets

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The Brooklyn Nets made the biggest free-agent splash this week, agreeing to deals with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. There is risk in these moves, no doubt, but they are moves the Nets had to make.

“Oh, there’s no doubt about it,” Nets play-by-play voice Ian Eagle said on Taz & The Moose. “Everything was lined up for this potential move. Everything they did over the course of three years was set up to try to swing for the fences when the 2019 offseason came about. The fact that they executed it is the part that will go into NBA annals as one of the greatest transformations in any franchise history.”

Think about it. The Nets have never won an NBA title, have just one 50-win season since 1977, and played second fiddle to the Knicks for decades – right up until Sunday evening.

“They were the equivalent of NBA Siberia when Sean Marks took over the job,” Eagle said. “They had no assets, they had no draft picks, they had no real hope – they were trying to build a fan base at that point. They had Brooklyn, and certainly Brooklyn played a part in this equation. There’s no doubt in my mind. If this was New Jersey, it doesn’t get done. Brooklyn was a huge factor here for both Kyrie and Kevin Durant. But the reality is they’re not that shocked within the confines of that training facility. They felt they did things the way that they had forecast that they needed to be done – and they finished the deal.”

While many analysts question whether Irving will find happiness with the Nets – he is on his third franchise in less than two years – Marks believes it will work in Brooklyn for one key reason.

“He wants to be here,” Eagle said. “He chose this situation. He was drafted first overall by Cleveland. You don’t have a choice in that scenario. He was traded to Boston. He did not choose Boston. Boston chose him. Their mentality was, ‘We’re going to show you what this franchise is all about, we’re going to show you what it’s like to be a Celtic, and you’re going to want to play here for the rest of your career.’ It didn’t turn out that way. He chose the Brooklyn Nets. He is 27 years old, he is entering the prime of his career – this was his decision. 

“With that said, he understands what’s on the line here,” Eagle continued. “He understands that his reputation took a hit here. It’s in his best interest – and just for his own life – to try to get this right and try to make sure this goes as smoothly as possible.”

Click below to listen to Eagle’s interview in its entirety.