Share “NBA Q&A with Ric Bucher”

Oklahoman Modified: January 22, 2009 at 6:35 am •  Published: January 22, 2009
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Ric Bucher, ESPN the Magazine
What are your impressions of the Thunder so far?

This is my new favorite team, because I love the chemistry, I love the transformation and the way they’ve played since the coaching change. I love seeing a young team that is excited about playing together and is playing loose and free without any pressure and clearly enjoys being on the floor playing. And that’s what I see from the Thunder right now.

How long do you think before this team is in playoff contention?

I’m going to say next year they could be battling for that eighth spot. Is that a little optimistic, is that a little progressive and forward-thinking, is that a little edgy? Absolutely. But I can make that case, because they’ve got a great nucleus, they’ve got a ton of cap space, they’ve got draft picks. I mean, the flexibility that they have to improve and the fact that when you have a Kevin Durant, you have a superstar in the making. Now you just need to get the right pieces around him at the right price.

What do you think of the job general manager Sam Presti has done so far?

I think it’s been very solid. And I’ve asked other GMs to compare the job he’s done with Minnesota, Memphis and Portland and some of those other teams that are trying to get a step up.