Q&A: Sam Presti says Serge Ibaka brings a lot to the Thunder

Oklahoman Published: August 18, 2012
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What does Serge Ibaka bring to your team?

“He does so many things. Obviously, his shot blocking is a statistic that is most pointed to because it's objective and it's measurable. There are a lot of things he does for us in just deterring shots. He really helps our pick-and-roll defense and bails us out a lot of times. In some cases, we maybe rely on that too much. We need to balance that out a little bit.”


What do you envision in the future for Ibaka?

“This is about future performance and what we anticipate to be the continued growth as a player. A lot of that comes down to a very rigorous work ethic and real persistence he has that I think you find in high-performing people. And I believe Serge has that quality.”

Do you think he realizes the significance of his deal?

“I really believe he does. ... You don't get to this point as an NBA player, coming from where he came from, without real fiber and some real DNA. Those are the types of things that we really value internally here. I think he possesses that in a pretty high quantity.”

You've signed Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Ibaka to extensions before they could become restricted free agents. James Harden and Eric Maynor are up next. You also signed coach Scott Brooks to a four-year deal last month. Is there such a thing as building momentum when it comes to getting deals done?