One-on-One with Sean Marks

by Jeramie McPeek
VP, Digital
By Steven J. Koek,
Posted: July 27, 2006

The Suns added some frontcourt depth with the signing of seven-year NBA veteran center Sean Marks. The first New Zealand native to play in the NBA becomes the sixth international player on the Suns roster.

Just after signing a one-year deal to play in Phoenix this season Marks talked to about moving to the Valley and his role with the Suns in 2006-07. Welcome to Phoenix. How did it happen that you wound up signing with the Suns?

Suns center Sean Marks: Over the last 10 days my agent’s been talking to the Suns and I jumped at the opportunity to get here. I’d love to be part of the organization. What is it about the organization the impressed that you?

Marks: I just think their style of play on the court, how they get up and down. And the personnel they’ve got here, not only the players. Everyone from the coaching staff all the way down, I’ve heard good things. From my old (Spurs) team, too. “Pop” (Spurs Head Coach Greg Popovich) was telling me how great it was here. I left on good terms there and he said I’m going to have a good time here. Did you know anyone in the Suns’ organization, players or otherwise?

Marks: I had a relationship with Coach (Marc) Iavaroni before in Miami, so I’ve known him. I’ve obviously known Steve Nash and Shawn Marion from playing international ball against those guys. And the rest of the guys just from playing in the league. What was it like working with Iavaroni in Miami and how much are you looking forward to reuniting with him here in Phoenix?

Marks: I had a great time with him in Miami. I learned a lot from him, both on the court, but also off the court, with game preparation, getting your mind ready. I still look back on those days fondly and still use a lot of the techniques that he taught me. How do you feel you fit into the Suns’ running style of play?

Marks: I hope that suits my game well. I like to get out there in the open court and get up and down, too. For a big man I can get up and down all right. I’m looking forward to getting in there and helping any way possible. Is that a way of playing basketball you are more familiar with because of your international experience?

Marks: That style of game, the fast-paced, up and down, green light for everyone out there shooting the ball, that sort of style helps my game in particular. It’s how I enjoy playing and it suits my strengths. What skills do you feel will help this team most?

Marks: I think I can keep up with other guys my size, so the running aspect of things. I’ll be on the break, hopefully getting some passes from Steve and everyone else. I’m able to knock down the open jump shot, too. I can stretch the defense, just like everybody else on this team can do. Everybody can knock down the jumpers on this squad, so it’s going to be an exciting time. How excited are you to be a part of the winning basketball that’s taken place in Phoenix over the last couple of years?

Marks: I’m just really excited to be here. I’ve had some great conversations with some of the personnel out here, the coaching staff. I’m excited about being here and I think they’re excited about having me, which is great. You always want to be in a place where you’re wanted. I love the style, I love the personnel and I’m coming from a great situation, as well. In San Antonio Pop ran a great, tight ship. A lot of the things they do the Suns do here. Have there been any discussions about what role you’ll play with the team?

Marks: Not yet. I think that will be defined during training camp. I’ll sit down with the coaches and they’ll tell what to do and what not to do. How did your experiences with international competition help as your NBA career progresses?

Marks: International ball is played a little differently. On the New Zealand team, which I’m now retired from, it was great because I was one of the go-to guys there and there was a lot more pressure on me to perform. I think that helped just build confidence and get me ready for the action I see in the NBA. What led to the decision to retire from the New Zealand team?

Marks: The point I’m at in my life now with two little boys at home, I’ve got a three-year-old and a one-year-old, it’s tough in the offseason to go and take two months off to go travel around the world with the national team, and leave them home with my wife. I want to be able to spend some time with them, watch them grow up and have an influence on their upbringing. It will also give my wife a break, too, since we’re gone a lot during the season. I’ll be married five years, tomorrow actually. Congratulations.

Marks: Thank you. My wife’s name is Jennifer and I met her in college at Berkeley during my junior year. We’ve got two little boys. Aidan will be three in August and Lucas will be one in September. We reside in California in the offseason and they’re all looking forward to getting out here, that’s for sure. What’s your schedule for the rest of the summer?

Marks: I’ll probably be out here in the next couple of weeks to get some workouts in with the coaches, and then I’ll go back, pack up the family, bring them all out here in September and get ready for the season. With all the traveling you’ve done in your life, it might not be that big of a deal to you, but what are your thoughts about going with the Suns to Italy for training camp?

Marks: That will be exciting. I’ve been lucky the last couple of years with San Antonio. My second year there we went to France for training camp and last year we went down to the Virgin Islands. Both those experiences were great and a great outlet for team bonding. Perhaps we didn’t get as much basketball in, but the team really gets to gel and do some extra curricular activities. In the Virgin Islands it was scuba diving and sailing together, which I really think was beneficial in the long run.