While yawning through a forgetable Hornets demolition job on the hapless Oklahoma Thunder (a game which seems notable chiefly because it was the final nail in Thunder coach PJ Carlesimo’s coffin) the camera zoomed in on a member of the crowd.
Because the game was being played in Oklahoma City’s Ford Center, and not anywhere more glamouous (like, say, the North Shore Events Centre), the member of the crowd drawing the camera’s attention was a guy named was Sean Marks, the first New Zealander to play in the NBA and a current member of the Hornets roster, though one yet to get any game time for them.
I’ve always been bemused by Marks’ ability to stay in the NBA year-in, year-out (a couple of seasons in Poland aside), while Kirk Penney has to content himself with destroying the opposition in the aforementioned glamourous Glenfield venue. Marks seems solid, dependable and so on, but without Penney’s vision and flair. Even during New Zealand’s dream run through the 2002 world champs to fourth place, Marks spent most of the tournament on the sideline with a cornea injury, sustained, I think, against Argentina. Those were amazing days). Obviously, he’s a bench-warming role-player (with the 9 minutes and 3 points a game career stats to prove it), and being 6’10” probably helps, but Penney, man… I’ll defer to CJ Bruton on this one: “Frankly I think he should be playing in the NBA. His points production is consistently outstanding and some of the shots he takes are amazing.”
I think we all agree on that one. The guy is playing out of his skin this season. But this is not about Kirk Penney, or his lustrous hair. It’s about Sean Marks, who, according to the commentators on Saturday night (NZ time) is about to enter the playing rotation for the first time this season. Here’s hoping he can match the vaguely unbelievable numbers he put up in his last game as a Phoenix Sun earlier this year (16 points and 13 boards).
I’d take a look at a guy like that as a coach (man I’d be a great coach), though as a 9-year vet you’re paying him over US$1m minimum just to hang out in the crowd. Maybe it’s because his community relations are so great, though, as this amazing Daughtry-soundtracked (!) youtube clip indisputably proves. The guy knows how to work a room of 4-year-olds, that’s for sure.
But ignore those cruel comments. He’s every bit as famous as Nash or Stoudemire.