Anaheim Ducks Require a Change in Team Culture and Identity

Anaheim Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Anaheim Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /
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Anaheim Ducks
General Manager Sean Marks of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images) /

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Sean Marks Brooklyn Nets went out and put together a diverse range of hirings for their sports science department. Ex-Navy SEALs, former AFL strength and conditioning coaches, you name it, they were sought out. No rock was left unturned.

Part of the Nets’ development philosophy was to acquire unloved players or players who had dropped in the draft, not due to talent but to injury. Caris Levert was such a player for them. Hendrix Lapierre would be a hockey equivalent, to an extent at least. They planned to rebuild these players and create a strong core about them.

Fast forward a few years and Levert was traded away as part of the James Harden trade, and Kevin Durant was successfully rehabilitated from injury. This strong focus on sports science has helped them foster a culture that shows great care for their players. It has, in part, been a differentiating factor in them becoming a free agent destination.

Further even than that, they hired dedicated analytics people and even a capologist to manage the salary cap. While these professions had work to do with the on-court coaching staff, they shone brightly when Marks went to make trades.

They sourced unloved players who had strong metrics and effectively “stole” them for cheap. As a comparison, it would be like the Anaheim Ducks acquiring the less-loved Roope Hintz from the Dallas Stars.

In comparison, the Ducks did go out and source Dr. Jeremy Bettle from the Toronto Maple Leafs, and un-ironically, the Brooklyn Nets. By all accounts, he is a strong hire with a wealth of experience and a PhD in his field.