San Antonio's NBA title win down to teamwork

Last updated 09:49 17/06/2014
Sean Marks
Reuters
TEAM MAN: Sean Marks believes it was a lack of selfishness that led the Spurs to NBA victory.

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Sean Marks is unsure of what his basketball coaching future holds after helping guide the San Antonio Spurs to this year's NBA title.

The 38-year-old Kiwi was an assistant coach with the Spurs side that yesterday won game five of the NBA finals to secure the franchise's fifth title.

Marks, who was on the Spurs' roster as a bench player when they won the 2005 title, got plenty of television time during the NBA finals alongside Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

Marks this morning laughed off suggestions he would soon become a head coach.

"I've got no idea [when that will happen]," he told Radio Sport.

"I don't know what the future holds. I've been on Pop's bench for a year. I've been able to pick his brain and probably drive him crazy. No matter what the future holds for me, I'll have fond memories of this no matter what."

Marks was part of New Zealand's 2002 Tall Blacks side that finished fourth at the world championships.

Like that Kiwi effort 12 years ago, Marks said San Antonio's run was more about teamwork and a team-first culture than any individual achievement.

"We realised from day one that we don't have the best player in the world in our team," he said.

"In fact, we were playing against him in LeBron James so in order for us to compete we had to play as a team, move the ball well and play with no selfishness."

It worked. The Spurs beat James' Miami Heat 4-1 in the final series.

"Coach Popovich did a tremendous job of relaying that [team-first] message to the players and the guys bought into it," he said.

While it was a team effort, one of the Spurs' best was again Tim Duncan, a long-time friend of Marks.

Marks used to play with and against Duncan who was the same age and now had won NBA Championships in three different decades.

"I can't talk enough about how competitive he is," Marks said.

"He's a great leader and leads with his actions. We joked last night that he'll probably be back in the gym in three weeks working out - he just loves to play basketball."

Marks also weighed into the hype about the Oklahoma City Thunder's Steven Adams, suggesting the 20-year-old New Zealander had "done a tremendous job".

"The future's so bright for him," he said.

"Steven's very lucky to be part of [the Thunder] and I know the coaching staff and front office staff there will develop him into a tremendous player."

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