It turns out Mikhail Prokhorov knows very well who Sean Marks is.
A day after the Nets owner joked about never hearing Marks’ name before, the organization hired Marks Thursday to be its new general manager. Marks had been with the Spurs for five seasons, most recently as assistant general manager. He also was an assistant coach on the 2013-14 NBA title-winning team.
“(Marks’) experience on the court, in coaching and management gives him a 360 degree view of the hob at hand,” Prokhorov said in a release. “His background helping to build one of the greatest teams in the NBA gives him an unparalleled frame of reference. And he impressed us all with his vision, his values, his personality and his enthusiasm for the club. The vote to select him from an incredible list of talent was unanimous.”
Yahoo’s The Vertical reported that Marks, a native of Auckland, New Zealand who played 12 NBA seasons, signed a four-year contract. The site also reported the Nets “significantly increased” their offer Wednesday night to lure Marks away from San Antonio, where he reportedly was being groomed for a major role with the franchise.
In a release, Marks said he was “excited” to join the Nets and he “look(s) forward to the challenge of creating a unified culture and building a winning team.”
The reaction from the Nets (14-40,) who stood pat at the trade deadline, was a unanimous appreciation for the fact that Marks is coming from an organization which has been the gold standard for sustained success over the last two decades, even if some players didn’t know who he was beforehand.
“I tried to inform myself a little bit,” Brook Lopez said after the team’s second practice at its new training facility in Sunset Park. “I did the Wikipedia – I’m sure what all the high school kids do now when they look up assignments. I looked up his career. I looked at his background and everything like that obviously, his time with the Spurs and everything. So, you know, it’s interesting.”
“(The Spurs) do things right out there obviously,” he added. “It’ll be interesting to see what kind of feeling he brings to the organization.”
Thaddeus Young, who said he wasn’t nervous while speaking right before the 3 p.m. deadline despite his name coming up in trade rumors, lauded the hire.
“Anybody that’s coming from the Spurs organization is definitely a great hire from what they’ve done in the past 20, 25 years,” Young said. “They’ve had a great organization, they’ve won championship after championship, always have produced a great team, and they have great people within the organization, great basketball minds, what I like to call them.”
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Impending free agent Joe Johnson said he’s “never ruled Brooklyn out” beyond this season but added he wants to play on a winning team. … The Nets said rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who hasn’t played since Dec. 4, is healed from ankle surgery and is beginning to work in partial practices. He’ll be re-evaluated in two weeks.
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