The San Antonio Spurs recently promoted former forward/center Sean Marks from assistant coach to assistant GM, which means a return to the front office for the former director of basketball operations.
It’s been a quick rise for Marks, who has still an active player as recently as 2011. If Marks can prove himself in the role of assistant GM, it’s likely he could end up running his own front office sooner rather than later, as working with the Spurs at each level of their operations will provide him with unique and invaluable experience.
Sean Marks played for the San Antonio Spurs for two seasons during his 11 year career, winning an NBA title in 2005.
While Marks was hardly a star on the team, his NBA playing experience will serve him well. Playing on a championship team with guys like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili gave Marks a close look at how a championship team is constructed as he saw first-hand the type of attributes necessary to build a contender both on and off the court.
Serving as an assistant of Gregg Popovich, however briefly, gave Sean Marks as close look at how an elite coach manages his team.
Coaches and executives including Sam Presti of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Danny Ferry, Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks, Monty Williams of the New Orleans Pelicans, Jacque Vaughn of the Orlando Magic and Brett Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers have all come from the Gregg Popovich coaching tree, proving that working with Pop provides all kinds of opportunity.
As assistant GM, Sean Marks will be working alongside general manager R.C Buford. Buford, who is regarded as one of, if not the, best general managers in the NBA, winning NBA Executive of the Year last season.
Buford played a major role in building the San Antonio Spurs into one of the best and most functional franchises in the league, creating a unique basketball culture that teams around the league have strived to emulate.
Now, Sean Marks will have the opportunity to work and collaborate with Buford, one of the league’s best general managers, as part of his grooming.
In addition, the San Antonio Spurs are one of the most creative and forward-thinking franchises in the NBA.
From the hiring of Becky Hammon and applied sports scientist Xavi Schelling to their interest in Ettore Messina, the Spurs aren’t afraid to think outside the box of it means gaining a competitive advantage.
Exposure to this type of progressive basketball operations could encourage Marks to think in a similar way should he run his own front office.
At only 39 years old, Sean Marks has moved through the front office ranks very quickly, and this latest promotion will further propel his rise to the top.
Assistant GM could very well be his last stop before becoming a general manager, whether it be with the Spurs or another franchise.
Coming from Popovich’s coaching tree and serving as Buford’s assistant GM will provide Marks with the experience and pedigree that few young executives can match.
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Working with the San Antonio Spurs is like getting an elite, hands-on education in basketball operations, and the experience will serve Marks well as he continues what should be a very bright future in an NBA front office.
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