Sean Marks may have retired from playing, but he hasn't retired from basketball. The former Spur and member of the 2005 championship team has taken a position with the San Antonio Spurs front office and is loving every minute of it. A website from his native New Zealand recently spoke with him about it:
"They've given me projects to work on, and I've been able to get stuck into the basketball operations side and what it takes to run a franchise like this."
To cut to the chase, Marks has walked into a dream role for any aspiring NBA executive. He is, it is said, learning off the very best in the business. Given the size of their market – and payroll – the Spurs are considered the poster franchise of efficiency.
"I couldn't have asked for anything more," agrees the one-time Rangitoto College standout.
"The Spurs have been just fantastic and it's been a really good year just to get my feet wet and learn.
"To have the success they've had both on and off the court in a small market, and for me to be privy to so much of what they do has been an eye-opening experience."
To be sure, Marks experience with the Spurs' championship run and his time playing overseas gives him a unique and valuable player perspective to the front office. It's also good to see the Spurs taking young guys under their wing and teaching their winning ways for that inevitable day when Pop and Buford retire from the business.
Stuff.co.nz also asked him what he thought was the source of the Spurs' success:
"When you have a big three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili who are all so unselfish it helps," he says.
"None of those guys are into individual accolades. And Pop [coach Gregg Popovich] has just impressed his will on the team. How Pop thinks is exactly how we roll. He makes everybody know from the top down just how lucky we are to do this."
"Pop has as top priority to make sure everybody's family is taken care of," adds Marks, "so for players, when they get on court, all they have to worry about is basketball."
The very attributes that make Spurs fans so proud of their team.
It's hard to predict what the future will hold for Marks. He's in the early, learning stages of his basketball management career. The Spurs have made a name for themselves by finding talent in unconventional places. Here's hoping they have done that in the front office as well as the front court.