Share “Presti offers few promises”

By Darnell Mayberry Modified: July 11, 2008 at 1:32 pm •  Published: July 11, 2008
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In his first appearance in Oklahoma City as general manager of the city's soon-to-be-named NBA team, Sam Presti didn't make many promises and refused to offer any predictions.

Instead, the second-year GM preached patience, resolute in his desire to carry out a precise plan for this relocating and rebuilding team.

"Everyone has gone through a period where they've got a transition with their team,” Presti said at a news conference in downtown Oklahoma City on Thursday afternoon.

"And when that comes about there's a way that you can do it and try to overhaul it really quickly, or you can try to build in a way that allows it to grow and sustain over time. We're choosing to not skip the steps so that we can grow and sustain it over time.”

That's not to say Presti isn't interested in tacking on as many wins as possible to last year's franchise-worst 20. It means he's more interested in assembling a roster that competes on a high level for years rather than attempt a quick fix and risk jeopardizing the team's future.

In Presti's words, "Development is a process and not necessarily an event.”

"When you take those steps and you go forward there's a couple of principles that you have to abide by,” Presti said. "First and foremost there has to be discipline and a meticulous nature to how you build the program and you build the team. And we feel like, to this point, we're very consistent to that vision and we'll continue to be consistent to that vision.

"We also feel like when you're building a team as meticulous as we are and with the vision that we have, there's going to be some patience that's involved. And we feel strongly that as we go forward with the group of players that we have, there's tremendous room for us to grow and for this group to grow together. And that's part of the identity and the vision for the team.”

Presti is quick to point out there is no blueprint for building. How fast the team turns things around, he said, depends largely on the decisions he and his staff make, the development of the players and making the best use of the team's upcoming salary cap room and stockpile of draft picks.

"But we're focused on continuing to build with the young core that we have and developing that young core and continuing to add to it over time,” Presti said.

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Sam Presti, GM of Oklahoma City's NBA franchise, speaks during a news conference Thursday at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. by NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN

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