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To clarify, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov does know Sean Marks’ name.
He knows his name, he knows his resume and he knows his history with the Spurs. And although Prokhorov joked Wednesday that he’d never heard of Marks, the Russian billionaire officially announced Thursday that Marks is the man for the Nets’ general manager job.
“His experience on the court, in coaching and management, gives him a 360-degree view of the job at hand,” Prokhorov said in a statement, released about five hours before the 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline. “He impressed us all with his vision, his values, his personality and his enthusiasm for the club . . . Look forward to his strong leadership and independent thinking as we build our success story.”
Marks, who played 11 seasons in the NBA, became an assistant coach for the champion San Antonio Spurs in the 2013-2014 season and was promoted to assistant GM the season after that.
The Knicks drafted the New Zealander 44th overall in 1998 and he played for six NBA teams in 13 years (he played one year in Poland and missed another season to injury). He won a championship with the Spurs as a player in 2005.
“I am very excited . . . to become a member of the vibrant and dynamic organization that represents Brooklyn,” said Marks, 40, in a statement. “I look forward to the challenge of creating a unified culture and building a winning team.”
Reports surfaced Wednesday that although Marks had been offered the job, the deal was not done. Citing league sources, Yahoo Sports reported Thursday that the two sides finally agreed to a four-year deal. In his statement, Prokhorov said the decision was the product of an “exhaustive vetting process” and unanimous among his advisers. “His background in helping build one of the greatest teams in the NBA gives him an unparalleled frame of reference,” Prokhorov said.
“I think it’s a great hire for us,” Nets forward Thaddeus Young said. The Spurs have “won championship after championship . . . and they have great people within the organization, great basketball minds.”
One thing Marks will have to address is the hiring of a coach. Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, who coached CSKA Moscow when Prokhorov owned them, is in the mix.
As for the trade deadline, the Nets stayed silent. There were no stirrings, and the biggest tradable pieces, Young and Brook Lopez, didn’t seem all that concerned.
“The first time I ever looked at the clock” to see if the deadline had passed was last year, when he was the heavy subject of trade rumors, Lopez said. This year, “I’m just going to see if I’ll just poof and disappear.”
At 3 p.m., he was still there.
Notes & quotes: The Nets announced that Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who fractured his right ankle during a practice on Dec. 5, has begun partial practices with the team. “Rondae is progressing well in his recovery,” the team said. “The ankle is healed.” The Nets plan to re-evaluate the injury in two weeks.