OKC Thunder GM Sam Presti: 'We're certainly pleased, but not content' with hot start

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER — Thunder general manager Sam Presti sat down with The Oklahoman's John Rohde to talk the Thunder's hot start, injured guard Eric Maynor and the rookie that's filling his spot, Reggie Jackson.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: January 14, 2012
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Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti offers incremental updates on his team each season. He broke away for 15 minutes prior to Saturday night's contest against the New York Knicks inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The beginning of this season has been crazy for everyone. How crazy do you think it has been for coach Scott Brooks?

"Scott deserves a tremendous amount of credit for keeping our guys focused in such a unique year. Scott has done a great job of identifying the core principals that we'll try to improve upon as the year goes on. I think you just have to grind that out and periodically look back and evaluate where you are."

What, if anything, have you done differently with a 66-game schedule?

"Our organization is a collection of people who embrace the daily grind. I feel really fortunate to come to work with a group of people who have a common vision, who understand that to sustain success in the NBA is a process, not an event. We're going to have to continue to work at it and stick together as we go through that."

A 10-2 record in the first 18 days. Not bad.

"We're certainly pleased, but not content. As I said before, Scott and the players deserve a lot of credit for coming into the season prepared to get started on the right foot, but we all know the season is a marathon and not a sprint and we're going to have to maintain a high level of focus and discipline."

Couldn't you consider playing 66 games in 118 days a sprint?

"You can definitely look at it that way. Any way you look at it, an NBA schedule is going to present all potential challenges. It's such a competitive league, that's why I believe the players deserve a lot of respect, to prepare themselves physically and mentally for anything that might happen over those 66 games."

Other than the usual reactions to Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, the biggest difference from last year is the acceptance of Kendrick Perkins, the man you traded for last Feb. 24.