Sam Presti mixed his television metaphors. Which was fine with him. Anything to shift the talk off James Harden's mention of the D-word.
Yep, Harden dared utter “dynasty” Saturday.
Might have been relevant had the Thunder just won the NBA Finals instead of having just lost the same. Instead, the Thunder still seeks its first NBA championship, not a series of basketball's grandest prize.
“This is something special here,” Harden said, still walking down Acceptable Boulevard. But then he took a wrong turn. “A dynasty could be, is being, built here. So we're winning, we're having fun and we're brothers.” The kind of stuff, he said, you can't buy.
So early and late, Harden was talking good sense. Good sense and great stuff. But the dynasty claim eclipsed the message and sent the Thunder general manager into damage control, if not total denial.
“I didn't realize that James was such an aficionado of '80s television,” Presti said. “I'd like to say respectfully we're as close to a dynasty as J.R. was to dodging the bullet.”
Uh, Sam, J.R. Ewing was on “Dallas,” not “Dynasty.” “Dynasty” was Linda Evans and John Forsythe and Joan Collins. The Carrington clan.
I don't remember how close J.R. was to dodging the bullet, and by Presti's own impeached testimony, neither does he.
But I know how close the Thunder is to a dynasty. No closer than even Dallas; J.R.'s hometown Mavericks at least won the 2011 NBA title.
The idea that the Thunder is headed for a long stretch of NBA success has merit. With Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook signed up for four more years together, the Thunder will match any team's talent at the top.
But can the Thunder keep surrounding its superstars with elite sidekicks? Next season, absolutely. Beyond that, we'll see.
Despite the talk of player sacrifice, either in paycheck or playing time, from both Harden and Eric Maynor, nothing is assured. The new payroll tax will make it treacherous for the Thunder to keep all its young talent. Might happen, could happen, but won't necessarily happen.
And even if Harden and Serge Ibaka remain in Thunder blue for several years, a championship is not guaranteed, much less several. All kinds of wondrous NBA teams never lifted the O'Brien Trophy. The Elgin Baylor Lakers. The Karl Malone Jazz. The Steve Nash Suns never even won the West.
So dynasty talk is way premature.
“We have a long way to go as an organization before we start talking about things in those terms,” Presti said Sunday. “Part of what I love about James is his confidence. But at the same time, as I've said before, this organization has to be thinking about how we do things and not point to what we want to do.
“It's what served us well in the past, I think it's important for us to understand that every year is unique. The year we had was fantastic. But we need to turn the page. We need to take a builder's mentality to next season and understand that the only thing we're entitled to is the same number of days to improve as every other team in the NBA.”
Dynasty is a fun concept, to think that Oklahoma City could rule basketball the way Boston or Los Angeles or Chicago have over the last 50 years.
But before the Thunder can win a series of titles, it has to win one. And as we saw last week, that will be hard enough.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.