Sean Marks, the NBA’s first player from New Zealand, was named general manager of the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, leaving the San Antonio Spurs staff to sign a three-year deal.
The 40-year-old from Auckland played 11 seasons in the NBA from 1998-2011 with the Spurs, Toronto and Miami, winning a title with the Spurs in 2005 and serving as an assistant coach on San Antonio’s 2014 championship squad.
Marks was named the Spurs director of basketball operations in 2012 and rose to the post of assistant general manager over the past four years, attracting the attention of Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov when the Russian billionaire went looking for an executive to rebuild the struggling team.
“His experience on the court, in coaching and management gives him a 360-degree view of the job at hand,” Prokhorov said.
Marks, selected 44th in the 1998 NBA Draft, replaces Billy King, who was reassigned within the Nets organisation last month.
The Nets are 14-40, level with Phoenix for the third-worst record in the NBA, and set to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
“I am very excited,” Marks said. “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.”
Among the issues Marks faces is Joe Johnson, the 34-year-old guard whose $24.9 million salary this season ranks only behind retiring Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.