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Pops coaching tree continues with Sean Marks

When your ally becomes your adversary

San Antonio Spurs v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images

Sean Marks proves once again that Gregg Popovich may see in someone what other may not. Marks had a ho-hum sort of NBA career as a player starting in eleven games over his eleven NBA seasons. He played for six NBA teams and with the exception of his three years in San Antonio, he was limited to two seasons on any other squad. His career averages are 2.8 points per game, 2.2 rebounds and 0.2 assists. Despite his numbers, he was part of the Spurs during the third title in 2005.

That said, his experience as a player sparked something with the Spurs organization and a year after retiring, Marks found himself hired as basketball operations assistant for the San Antonio Spurs and general manager for the Austin Toros. A year later, he moved into assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs. One season later, the Spurs won their fifth title, making Marks one of a handful of players to also receive a ring as a coach.

As Popovich stated:

“A player’s perspective and a management perspective are different from a coach’s perspective. It was good for him to do that. Not many people get to do that before they are a GM so it will serve him well.”

Add a 2001 Polish League Championship and a 2017 induction into the New Zealand Basketball Hall of Fame and it becomes clearer just how Sean Marks has made it to his current position. The former Spurs assistant is the current General Manager of the Brooklyn Nets.

The photo above shows Marks with fellow “down under” baller Patty Mills. Although the picture is from a couple of seasons ago, there may be more of the two together as Mills has recently joined the Nets.

In addition, Marks has brought former Spurs LaMarcus Aldridge, Jacque Vaughn, Ime Udoka, and Tiago Splitter into the fold. He’s build one of the most lethal teams in the NBA and, if healthy, is destined for a deep post season. He’s considered a top candidate for NBA Executive of the Year.

“Intelligence level is off the charts, sense of humor is off the charts, compassionate and empathic guy yet willing to make decisions,” Popovich said. “When he would sit in our meetings, whether he was GMing or coaching, he was always someone whose presence exhibited gravitas. He was someone I listened to and go to for opinions.”

But who knows, without returning to San Antonio as a basketball operations assistant nearly a decade ago would all of his untapped potential have been recognized, elevating him to his current position?

Next up: Jim Boylen


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