Tanking has never been an option for Nets
Perhaps one of the most shocking bits of news to come out of this particular offseason has emanated from the camp of the Brooklyn Nets. It has nothing to do with player movement or a shakeup in the front office; instead, its a statement made by head coach Kenny Atkinson claiming that tanking has never been an option for his team. (h/t Nets Daily)
“We’ve never talked about tanking, [Nets General Manager Sean Marks] and I,’’ Atkinson told Michael Kay on his ESPN-NY radio show. “I’m just going to be honest: Internally, we don’t use the word. We don’t talk about it.”
This is quite an astonishing statement considering the fact that the Nets have been dreadful since the arrival of both Marks and Atkinson two seasons ago (Marks was appointed as general manager on February 2016 and one of his first moves was to hire Atkinson as head coach two months later). The team finished dead last in the East in the 2016-17 season with a 20-62 record and followed it up last year with a 29-53 slate for 12th place in their conference.
Either Marks and Atkinson had an unspoken understanding about the direction their team was heading in the past two seasons and just refused to use the term “tanking,” or they are both just not performing very well in their respective job functions.
“We talk about internal improvement, we talk about player development, we talk about culture. Tanking is not a word we use. It’s just not in our [vocabulary]. I don’t think the fans in New York want to see that,” Atkinson added.
Nonetheless, it appears that Marks and Atkinson did have a lot of discussions about their plans this coming season. Brooklyn has been one of the more active teams in the summer, acquiring a total of at least eight new players on their projected roster. This includes the likes of Kenneth Faried, Jared Dudley, Ed Davis, and Shabazz Napier.
Now, whether or not this will put the Nets in a winning position this coming season remains to be seen.