Sam Presti visits OKC
Sam Presti, the second-year general manager for Oklahoma City’s new NBA team, met the media on Thursday afternoon. In his 30-minute press conference, Presti talked about the challenges of relocation, his expectations for next season, coach P.J. Carlesimo’s philosophy, and attracting free agents to a small market.
Q: Is your job as general manager going to be more difficult because of the transition?
A: I wouldn’t say that it’s more difficult. I think there’s probably going to be some inherent challenges initially. But those are things that we’re ready to take on, and we have a staff of people that are working tirelessly to make the transition for our team as efficient as possible. But our focus has to maintain on continuing to make good decisions and building this team with the vision and identity that was set out.
Q: Have you started touring the city in search of a temporary practice facility, and what are you looking for out of a site?
A: We’ve taken a couple of looks. We’re looking at several different options. Essentially, what we’re looking for is a place that’s going to be our home. We really feel like that’s important to our program, especially because development is a huge component to our team and our growth.
Q: Do you have a timeline for finding a place?
A: The timeline for that will be when we find a place that we feel like is the right spot for us. We don’t want to make a quick or rash decision because it is a big decision for us and there’s a lot of options.
Q: What kinds of questions are the players asking about Oklahoma City? Are you having to battle any stereotypes?
A: I think this is the great thing about our players and everyone will have a chance to learn this, a lot of guys want to know are the baskets 10 feet? Do the balls have air in it? I think we’ve been fortunate enough to find players that want to play. Surely anytime that there’s a transition there’s going to be different questions. That’s part of our job to try to make the transition as easy as possible for our players and their families.
Q: Will this city’s small market size put the franchise at a disadvantage to attract large-name free agents?
A: With market size you can look at the history of the league. There’s been successful teams in smaller markets. Each market is different and unique, and we’re still obviously in the very early stages of learning this market. But our plan and our vision is to build the best team that we can. And our market size is not something that we come in thinking about. We come in thinking about how to put the best basketball team together for the long term to fulfill the plan that we have in place.
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