MOORE — It could have just been irony or a bad coincidence. But Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti conducted his state of the Thunder press conference the same day the NBA finals began 500 miles south in San Antonio.
One of the first questions Presti took from the assembled media Thursday at the Thunder practice facility was why it was the Spurs hosting Game 1 of the NBA Finals and not Oklahoma City.
“I’ve always said, I think over seven games, the better team wins,” Presti said. “They were the better team over seven games this season. I think they have an identity they play to and we have an identity we play to. Over a seven-game series they were able to capture theirs on a more regular basis than we were ours.”
Much of Presti’s comments during his 32-minute press conference centered on doing things the Thunder way and maintaining the franchises identity.
“I do want to make sure that I’m clear,” Presti said. “I think we have a heck of a base. But to be a high-performing team year after year after year, self evaluation and understanding your strengths and where they can go to, I think is really important.”
Part of that evaluation includes head coach Scott Brooks. Despite calls from critics who say the Thunder skipper needs to go, Presti seems to be sticking with him.
“Scotty, I think, did an excellent job,” Presti said. “I understand we all have a tendency to look at the last game or the last series. I respect that. That’s part of sports. I can’t do that. I’m looking at a body of work. I’m looking at an understanding of what drives our success and the way in which we have gotten to this point. Scott, like every single person in this organization, is going to take a look at the ways he can move the needle and grow incrementally.”