NBA trailblazer Marks has advice for Adams

NBA CAREER: Sean Marks in action for the New Orleans Hornets in his NBA playing days.
NBA CAREER: Sean Marks in action for the New Orleans Hornets in his NBA playing days.

Sean Marks has been down the same path that Steven Adams is now taking, and the Kiwi NBA trailblazer has one main piece of advice for his compatriot.

Marks carved an 11-year NBA career and was the first New Zealander to make the breakthrough into the big league when he was drafted in the second round in 1998. He played for the Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Hornets and Portland Trailblazers and earned a stellar reputation as a great team-mate prepared to do what was required for his club.

Marks is now a big mover on the NBA's front office scene, working as director of basketball operation for the San Antonio Spurs and considered a potential GM of the future.

KIWI HISTORY: Steven Adams makes history after being drafted by NBA franchise Oklahoma City Thunder.
KIWI HISTORY: Steven Adams makes history after being drafted by NBA franchise Oklahoma City Thunder.

It goes without saying he has taken great interest in the burgeoning career of the Rotorua-born Adams who on Friday was drafted 12th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Marks' Spurs and Adams' Thunder automatically become heated Western Conference rivals and will see each other frequently through the season.

But Marks also feels an affinity with the towering 19-year-old and urged him to retain his focus at a time and in a league when doing so can be extremely difficult.

"There are many adjustments Steven will have to make and some of the toughest are the travel requirements," Marks told the Sunday News just before leaving on a scouting trip to Europe.

"He will often find himself wondering, ‘What city and hotel am I in now?' Of course, the biggest off-court adjustment will be staying focused and not getting into all the temptations and possible distractions that are now available to him."

But the towering North Harbour native has no doubts that Adams has landed in the right situation to make the most of his exciting talents.

Sunday News