Ailing Nets hire San Antonio's Sean Marks as general manager
Feb. 19, 2016
NEW YORK (AP) — Sean Marks is leaving the San Antonio Spurs to undertake the rebuilding of the Brooklyn Nets.
He was hired Thursday as general manager of the Nets, hours before the league's trade deadline.
Marks has spent the last five years with the Spurs, including the last two as assistant general manager. He was an assistant coach when they won the 2014 NBA title and also served as GM of the Austin Spurs, their team in the NBA Development League.
Owner Mikhail Prokhorov said Marks was the unanimous choice of the committee that selected the replacement for Billy King, who was reassigned Jan. 10 when the Nets fired coach Lionel Hollins.
"His experience on the court, in coaching and management gives him a 360-degree view of the job at hand. His background helping to build one of the greatest teams in the NBA gives him an unparalleled frame of reference," Prokhorov said in a statement. "And he impressed us all with his vision, his values, his personality and his enthusiasm for the club."
Marks will need all of those and more to take on what appears to be a difficult task. The Nets are 14-40, the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, and the future might look worse. They don't own a first-round pick this year or in 2018, having dealt them to Boston in a trade made under King.
"There is some trepidation in my mind for the young man, but I think ownership is really committed," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said in Los Angeles. "I think they've learned a lot since they've been over there, how they really want to create a vision and a culture."
Attendance has dwindled this season after three straight seasons in the playoffs, but Marks called the Nets a "vibrant and dynamic organization that represents Brooklyn."
"I would like to thank Nets' ownership for giving me this opportunity, and I look forward to the challenge of creating a unified culture and building a winning team," he said.
Beyond filling out the roster, Marks will also have to help select a coach. Tony Brown was given the job on an interim basis for the rest of the season when Hollins was fired.
Popovich said Marks' time in the coaching ranks will help him as he returns to the front office.
"He's a really talented young man and unbelievable people person," Popovich said. "They made a heck of a choice. I just hope things work out for him. I'll miss him."
Marks played 12 years in the NBA with six teams, including the Spurs. The New Zealand native also played for his country in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.
AP Sports Writer Beth Harris in Los Angeles contributed to this report.