• Sean Marks Added To Active Roster -

SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Spurs today announced that center Rasho Nesterovic has been placed on the injured list due to a left ankle sprain. Nesterovic is averaging 5.4 points and 6.7 rebounds in 25.4 minutes in 42 games.

At the same time the team activated forward/center Sean Marks from the injured list. Marks has missed all 42 games after being placed on the injured list on November 1 with a lower back sprain. He will be in uniform for tonight’s Spurs-Kings game.

圣安东尼奥马刺队今天宣布,中锋Rasho Nesterovic 由于左脚脚踝扭伤而被放进伤病名单。Nesterovic在42场比赛里,平均每场上场25.4分钟,得5.4份,6.7个篮板。
球队同时从伤病名单激活了前锋/中锋Sean Marks。该球员自因伤于11月1日进入伤病名单以来,今年的42场比赛都没有参加。今晚马刺与国王的较量中他将成为参赛队员。



Waiting to make his Marks
23 January 2005


Sean Marks is part of one of the bests team in the NBA but hasn’t played in a game since 2003. Dylan Thomsen finds out just what the Tall Blacks big man does in the world’s premier basketball league.

It’s game night for the San Antonio Spurs in Texas and Sean Marks is going through his pre-match routine. Most of the players are required to be at the stadium an hour and a half before the 7:30pm tip off but Marks is on the floor at 5pm and starts working out. For an hour he and a handful of the other squad members run, shoot and go through their paces until the rest of the team arrives. He might then lift some weights and hit the treadmill until, as game time approaches, he showers, swaps his playing strip for a suit and sits down to cheer on his side like most of the other 20,000 Spurs fans packing out their home SBC Centre stadium.

So close and yet so far.

This has been the way Marks has spent probably 80 nights over the last two years, sitting one step away from his dream, just behind the Spurs bench. Despite being signed by the team in 2003 he has yet to get on court in a game and, even though fully fit, remains on the injured reserve list - a tool most NBA teams use to keep three back-up players to their standard 12-man squad. What this means is, unless he is actually injured, Marks attends every training, is at every match and travels with all the players on the charter jet to away games, but does not get to play. It’s a situation you would expect the 2.1m tall Kiwi to find incredibly frustrating but, while he would obviously love some game time, he is probably enjoying his basketball more now than at any other stage in his career.

Marks’ basic position at the Spurs is one of three back-up centre/forwards to superstar Tim Duncan - a two times winner of the NBA’s most valuable player award - and Rasho Nesterovic. At this stage he is rated third on the list of reserves, with 13-year NBA veterans Robert Horry and Tony Massenburg filling the big men spots on the bench, but there has been speculation the Spurs may sign the currently teamless Karl Malone. The addition of the 41-year-old legend would make it a lot tougher for Marks to get court time but, as head coach Gregg Popovich said when Marks was re-signed for another one-year deal, the work he does behind the scenes is one of the key things the Spurs value about him.

With teams playing 82 games over a five-and-a-half month regular season - an average of 3.5 each week - followed by a potential 28 more in the two month playoffs, coaches only have a brief window in between games, travel and the one day off the players generally get a week to prepare the team for their next opponent.

Much like a good sparring partner in boxing, the coaches obviously believe Marks, or ‘Kiwi’ and ‘mate’ as he is known at the Spurs, aids the team’s build-up for games. In training, he will often adopt the characteristics of the big men from the Spurs’ next opponent to help the frontline players work on how they will combat them.

"They (the coaches) won’t often say ‘okay, this is how he shoots the ball you need to change to shoot it like him’ it’ll be more or less if I’m going to play Dirk Nowitzki for practice and we know that during a game he’s going to be shooting the ball basically every time he gets it, in practice that’s something that I’ve got to do. Or for instance the other week we were playing Phoenix and I had the role of being Amare Stoudemire and he’s incredibly athletic. So every time a shot went up, instead of going for the rebound I was running to the other end for offence so it was getting Tim and Rusho and those guys used to that they couldn’t lollygag and needed to get back on defence.

“Practices are my games that’s the way I’ve got to look at it, so I’ll bring it in practice and try and push the guys as much as possible.”

It’s ironic that at a time when basketball is getting more exposure in New Zealand than ever before our most successful player has one of the lowest profiles. New Zealand Breakers like Pero Cameron, Dillon Boucher and Aaron Olsen play on TV most weeks and newspaper briefs are printed semi-regularly on how the likes of Kirk Penney, Phill Jones and Mark Dickel are performing overseas. Meanwhile, Marks is into season number six in the world’s toughest hoops competition but is probably known most for having his eye scratched in the 2002 basketball world championships and missing the final games as the Tall Blacks finished fourth.

Part of it could be that he left our shores as a little known teenager and, in an obscure bit of trivia, only has a couple of New Zealand NBL games to his name sitting on the bench for North Harbour. After growing up on Auckland’s North Shore he travelled to the US to play ball for California-Berkeley university and study political science. He was selected by the New York Knicks in the second round of the 1998 NBA draft then had his rights traded to the Toronto Raptors. He played two seasons, averaging a meagre three minutes of court time and 1.5 points per game, before being signed by the Miami Heat. The next two years were Marks’ best in the NBA in terms of playing time - averaging 12 minutes, 3.5 points and 2.5 rebounds a game - but he was released in 2003 and picked up by the Spurs. It seems a shame that at 29 and probably at the peak of his powers Marks is with a team so strong he struggles to get on court, but if given the choice between being where he is or getting regular minutes for one of the weaker sides in the NBA he would choose the Spurs.

He rates the organisation the best he has ever been part of and says the club has a genuine focus on looking after its people and their families. That suits him and his wife Jennifer, who he met at university, and their 16-month-old son Aidan. Just as importantly he is part of the NBA’s top team this season, with the Spurs currently having the best record in the competition of 33 wins and nine losses. And, while he says it is too far away to think about, if the Spurs did go on to claim the title this year Marks would become the first New Zealander to have an NBA ring even if he didn’t play in an actual match.

"There’s definitely days where it is frustrating and I wish I was out there getting to show my stuff if I have it. (But) if you’ve got a winning record and you’re surrounded by a great bunch of guys and on a good organisation that makes up for a little bit of the lack of court time.

COURT TIME: Sean Marks back in the 2001-2002 NBA season when he averaged 15.2 minutes per game for the Miami Heat.

"The two years prior to being with the Spurs I was with Miami and one of those years I got a little bit of court time there. I started six games, so that was great experience for me. But I was on a team that wasn’t doing very well. It wasn’t the type of atmosphere I like to be around, and also the fact that I had a couple of bad injuries there that kind of kept me out and I really started to weigh up my options and think ‘is this really worth it?’. Maybe I was a little bit jaded and thought ‘maybe I’ll go and try my hand at something else. Basketball’s been great but if you’re not having fun and you’re not enjoying it why do it?’.

"So coming to the Spurs there’s really been a new lease on life here. I wake up in the morning thinking ‘heck, I can’t wait to get to work, I can’t wait to see the guys’ and I think that’s probably the feeling most of the guys have. We enjoy being around each other, on the road we all go out to eat as a team.

“There’s no egos. I mean if your star player and arguably the best player in the NBA who’s on your team, Tim Duncan, doesn’t have an ego and doesn’t have an attitude how can you have an ego at number 13, 14, 15 in the team. You can learn a lot from a guy like him or I have anyway.”

In terms of Marks’ own game he is reasonably happy with how he is playing right now and having more confidence in his ability has been one of the things he has worked on this year.

"So when the lights go on and I do get my chance out there to not even worry about it and go out there and play my game. Just not being perhaps nervous out there, or hesitant is even a better word I would think.

"I think a lot of just where I’m at and my game will improve with court time. Getting out there, being able to work on your moves in a game against defences you don’t see every day so it’s not guys on your team who know your game.

“One thing I’d like to improve on definitely is my defence. (Also) I’ve already got a decent jump shot but I’d like to improve the range on that.”

As for the future, Marks is not looking beyond this season but is keen to carry on in the NBA as long as he can. If that does not work out, Europe would probably be the next choice, as wife Jennifer’s family is part-Spanish.

Now that New Zealand has a professional team in the Breakers the idea of coming home and playing does have appeal but, realistically, that is a move that would come at the end of his career overseas.

"I’d definitely never rule it out, I think it’d be great - I’d be playing with guys I grew up with. I’d love to come back to New Zealand for a year or two, bring Aidan back and Jennifer to see where I grew up. But for the time being anyway I think we’re going to make America our home (they own a house in California they live in in the off season). Jennifer’s family is over here and hopefully one day my family will come over too.

“When I first got drafted did I really think I could spend six years in the NBA? Who knows, but hopefully I can spend another six - another couple. I’m not ready for my career to finish right now. There’s a few things I need to prove to myself and a few doubters out there as well. (I’d want to leave the NBA) looking back and thinking that I’ve reached my potential.”

An average day at the Spurs for Sean Marks
23 January 2005

On a non-game day, San Antonio Spurs practice starts at 10:30am but Sean Marks will be at their training facility - which includes two courts, a weights room, saunas, whirpools and other training aids, plus offices for all the coaches, scouts and other immediate members of the team - an hour beforehand.

"Probably nine times out of ten I’ll get a workout then. So one of the coaches will work me out or I’ll help work out some of the other guys. Like Rasho Nesterovic, he’ll come early some days and then the coaches will match me up against him just to give him some extra work or I’ll go and work with Timmy (Tim Duncan) or I’ll work with someone else.

"It’ll involve a little bit of one-on-one but it’ll (also) involve drills. It’s a chance for me to get up some extra shots, get some cardio in. The coaches will make sure we (the players on the injured reserve list) get a good sweat on then because obviously I didn’t play the night before.

"At 10:30am we’ll watch film as a team, so we all go into the media room and we’ll watch half an hour of tape on the team we’re about to play or perhaps on our previous game. The coach will show us what we’ve done right, what we’ve done wrong, what he’d like to see more of.

“(Next) we’ll lift weights for half an hour as a team then we’ll hit the practice floor about 11:30am and we’ll be off the floor at 1:00pm-1:30pm, something like that.”

On game days, the Spurs will have a shoot around in the morning where they go over their plans for the match, before the players are left to relax through the afternoon (most games are played at night).

"We all talk about the opposition (at the shoot around), who we’re playing, who we’re likely to guard that night so he (coach Gregg Popovich) will ask ‘Tony Parker, you’re going to be playing against Chauncey Billups tell me about him?’ So Tony will tell us in front of the team what the player he’s going to be guarding likes to do and stuff and then, if he’s left anything out, the coaches will add to that.

"They’ll ask me just as much as they ask anybody else even though they know I’m not going to be playing and if they ask you you’re expected to know. I’ve been around enough to have a basic understanding of the guys I’m playing against and I do my own research and we (the team) will all watch games together when we’re on the road.

“It’s our job so we should be watching TV, getting on the internet, that type of thing and making sure that we’re watching players and games that we’ve got coming up. But at the same time the coaching staff have video guys and they put together edited DVDs for us so we can watch them at home and say this is who we’re going to be playing against next game so we get familiar with their personel. It’ll be broken down per position so the bigs will get their DVD and film clips on the players they’ll be playing against and then the smaller guys will get theirs.”

PROUD KIWI: Sean Marks says representing his country at two Olympics has been the highlight of his sporting career - even above playing in the NBA.


Go Spurs!Go Sean!


MARKS状态不太好的.看来还只能指望TD和MANU 啊


Sean Marks… 37 in live2005