Thunder general manager Sam Presti knew exactly what he was stepping into when he initiated this rebuilding process. He knew there wouldn’t be a quick fix for this project and, frankly, he wasn’t interested in attempting one. Since taking the job in 2007, Presti has approached this task with the belief that to do it right called for patience and prudence through the rough times.
That’s why, crazy as it sounds, the Thunder’s current seven-game losing streak and NBA-worst 1-9 record can be viewed as growing pains that ultimately will help put Oklahoma City on the road leading to its desired destination. Skeptical? The proof is found over in Atlanta and New Orleans and up in Portland. Presti is mimicking those franchises’ building blueprints. The method typically takes three to four years of pain before teams even sniff the playoffs. But the payback is sustained success. While any Thunder fan from Pocola to the Panhandle can see this team would be much improved with the addition of a shooter or two, Presti won’t be quick to pull the trigger on a deal simply to tack on a few more wins. Instead, the plan is to provide the team’s young core of Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook, Robert Swift and Johan Petro ample time to play together and learn the NBA’s ins and outs. The Hornets did just that with Chris Paul, David West and Tyson Chandler.
Online Live ChatFollow it as it happens Join a discussion on tonight’s Thunder game against the Houston Rockets at NEWSOK.COM/SPORTS/THUNDER
A look at the improvement of Atlanta, New Orleans and Portland.
→When: 7 tonight →Where: Ford Center →TV: FOX Sports Oklahoma (Cox. 37) →Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM. Probable starters