OKC Thunder notebook: Jeff Van Gundy taking wait-and-see approach with Thunder's title hopes

Van Gundy: “They've had a lot of personnel changes. It's too early to speculate. But they're obviously going to have another great, great year.”
by Darnell Mayberry and Anthony Slater Published: November 7, 2013

Former NBA coach and respected ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy was in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, calling the Thunder-Mavs game.

And before tip, when asked his outlook on the Thunder, Van Gundy took a wait-and-see approach.

“They've had a lot of personnel changes,” Van Gundy said. “A lot depends on guys like (Jeremy) Lamb, who no one knows what he's going to become. It's too early to speculate. But they're obviously going to have another great, great year. And they're a model franchise.”

In regards to the James Harden trade, Van Gundy said “it definitely brought them closer to the pack talent-wise” and “no one can dispute that”.

But before and during the game, he seemed high on Lamb and, particularly, rookie center Steven Adams.

“I like rough Steven Adams,” Van Gundy said. “He doesn't shy away from contact. He's involved in the paint. He's a good player.”

THUNDER ADDS LONGTIME EXECUTIVE MAURIZIO GHERARDINI TO STAFF

The Thunder has added longtime executive Maurizio Gherardini to its staff as a senior adviser/international affairs.

Gherardini is best known for his 14 years as general manager of Benetton Treviso, where he established himself as one of the brightest minds and administrators in the history of European basketball.

During his tenure with Benetton Treviso, Gherardini helped to turn the Italian club into one of the most familiar and successful clubs outside of the NBA. Under his guidance, Benetton captured four Italian League championships, seven Italian Cups, three Italian Supercups and made four appearances in the Euroleague's Final Four.

Since 2006, Gherardini has held the position of vice president and assistant general manager for the Toronto Raptors.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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