Presti and staff hit the road
Just a few hours after OKC accepted the Western Conference championship trophy with a 107-99 victory in Game 6 over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night, Thunder general manager Sam Presti and assistant general manager Troy Weaver caught an early flight to Chicago to attend a 9 a.m. workout session at the NBA Pre-Draft Camp.
Other members from the Thunder staff already were at the camp, which started Wednesday and runs until Friday night.
“The Pre-Draft Camp is another step in the evaluation process as we head into the draft,” Presti said. “We place a lot of value on the opportunity to sit down with a lot of the prospects and learn about them on a personal level as we determine who are potential fits for our organization now and in the future.”
The Thunder has the No. 28 pick overall for having the league's third-best record (47-19). The NBA Draft is June 28 at 6 p.m. in Newark, N.J.
IN THE HUNT
Weaver and fellow assistant general manager Rob Hennigan reportedly remain in the hunt for the Orlando Magic general manager position.
TNT analyst David Aldridge on Wednesday reported the Magic's list of general manager candidates remains at Weaver, Hennigan, former Portland general manager and Tulsa Edison High School product Kevin Pritchard, Spurs assistant general manager Dennis Lindsey and former Hornets general manager Jeff Bower. Former Pacers and Knicks executive Donnie Walsh removed himself from consideration last week.
The Western Conference championship trophy the Thunder received Wednesday night has no name, nor does the Eastern Conference championship trophy.
The NBA championship trophy was named after former commissioner Larry O'Brien and previously was called the Walter A. Brown Trophy. Brown was the original owner of the Celtics and instrumental in forming the NBA in 1949.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Thunder is the fourth team in NBA history and the first in a conference finals game to come back from a halftime deficit of at least 15 points in a playoff series-clinching victory.
Other teams to do that were: Milwaukee against New Jersey in the first round in 1986 (trailed by 18 at the half); Phoenix vs. Denver in the first round in 1989 (trailed by 18); and Dallas vs. Utah in the first round in 2001 (trailed by 15).
For the second straight game, OKC shot exactly 50 percent from the field. The Thunder is now 23-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better. … Kevin Durant's upcoming move “Thunderstruck” will open Aug. 24. … The NBA Finals is played with a 2-3-2 format. The Thunder earned the homecourt advantage thanks to having a better record than Miami (46-20) or Boston (39-27). OKC was 2-0 against the Celtics and 1-1 against the Heat.
DUNCAN TO RETIRE?
Arguably the greatest power forward in NBA history, 36-year-old legend Tim Duncan has played 15 seasons for the Spurs and has said he does not want to play for another franchise. He will become an unrestricted free agent July 1 and must decide whether to sign an extension with San Antonio.
Duncan said this season's abrupt finish will not factor into his decision-making.
“Not really,” Duncan told the Express-News. “Bottom line is the summer is going to come. The summer is going to be here, and it is what it is. I'll figure it out when I come to it. I haven't even thought about it, and I really don't care. I'll figure it out when it happens, just like everything else.”
Spurs forward Stephen Jackson made his first six 3-point attempts and was assessed a technical foul after his fifth 3-pointer with 4:20 left in the third quarter.
Jackson said he was teed up for having words with an unidentified Thunder assistant coach.
“When I was getting ready to shoot, one of their coaches said something,” Jackson said afterward to the San Antonio Express-News. “I thought it was disrespectful, so when I made it, I turned around and said something. It was wrong on my part, but it was just my emotions. I felt if I got a technical, he should have got one, too. It is what it is. I'm not going to worry about that.
“I don't feel like I deserved one of those fouls I got or the tech. There was a lot of trash-talking going on. A lot of times, guys do stuff. I know I get singled out. It is what it is.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich after being eliminated: “Everybody wants to be the last team standing. I thought this team did everything it could possibly do to go as far as it could.”
Thunder point guard Eric Maynor is scheduled to visit the Thunder Youth Basketball camp at Midwest City High School from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Friday. The week-long camp began Monday and concludes Friday.
The remainder of the Thunder Youth Basketball camp schedule: June 11-15 at Santa Fe Family Life Center; June 18-22 at Thunder Events Center (old practice facility in Edmond); June 25-29 at Mid-American Christian University; July 9-13 at Santa Fe Family Life Center; July 16-20 at Transformation Fitness; July 23-27 at Casady School; Aug. 6-10 at Thunder Events Center; Aug. 13-17 at Transformation Fitness.