The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

July 10, 2014

In Presti, Thunder fans should trust

NORMAN — Oklahoma City Thunder fans should first understand they’re not alone.

They and every other NBA fan is waiting to see what their team’s going to do because LeBron James, even without the fanfare of “The Decision” is nonetheless gumming up the works by being as quiet about his future basketball intentions as he was that first Finals the Heat played against the Mavericks.

Here’s hoping he goes back to Cleveland. Other than staying in South Beach, it’s the only move he has that doesn’t make him a career pariah.

But that’s not what today’s entry’s about. Instead, it’s about the Thunder and why their fans will simply have to sweat out the process, ever faithful it will work to their team’s advantage. 

Further, they shouldn’t do this because it’s their only choice, but because there’s every reason to believe it will work out in their favor.

Let’s review just how smart Sam Presti has proven to be since the franchise he runs moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City.

In 2008, Presti drafted Russell Westbrook with the fourth pick and Serge Ibaka with the 24th pick. Just maybe, he grabbed two Hall of Famers.

In 2009, he struck gold with James Harden. Also in 2009, he traded for Thabo Sefolosha, a long-term starter for the length of his contract.

In 2011, Reggie Jackson was the 24th pick. You may not love Reggie Jackson, but he’s been spectacular 24th pick.

He got Perry Jones the next year with the 28th pick, a throwaway pick for most franchises, but Jones played in 62 games last season and started seven. It could still be a big-time pick.

Steven Adams arrived with the 12th pick in the 2013 draft and who knew he’d be a better pro than he was a collegian at Pitt.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • OSSAA releases enrollment figures

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released the preliminary 2014-15 ADM for classification purposes Friday and not much has changed for many of the area schools. Moore (2,265), Norman North (2,180), Westmoore (2,090), ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Swim regionals 1 Norman North’s Justin Wu qualifies for U.S. national

    Justin Wu made history last week when he qualified for the U.S. national swim meet. A senior at Norman North, Wu already owned several state records when he outpaced a field of college swimmers in the event....

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodard joins successful soccer team in Stillwater

    Haley Woodard has been one of the preeminent multi-sport stars in the state for several years. The Norman North senior is a state champion in track and soccer and has been an integral part of a basketball team that’s been to back-to-back ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Posturing, predictions fly as conference plans for new season

    There’s plenty to enjoy about the Southeastern Conference’s annual cattle call in Hoover, Ala., where media of every description join players and coaches from each of the league’s 14 football teams to discuss the coming season. The best ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Roberson2 66ers heading south

    The last five years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have had an unsung hero in their rise to the top of the NBA. Along with the talents of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the franchise has had the services of one of the best developmental ...

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NHS at Midwest City 6 Point guard taking on a new role in Tigers’ summer basketball league

    It’s a summer of change for Norman High basketball....

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU dominates in preseason, receiving 47 of 56 first-place votes in early poll

    Oklahoma will start the season as the overwhelming favorite to win the Big 12 Conference....

    July 18, 2014

  • Thunder V Denver Thunder add guard Morrow in deliberate, selective free agency

    Oklahoma City hasn’t been the busiest place during the NBA free agency period. However, it may have been among the pickiest. The Thunder officially signed free agent guard Anthony Morrow to a contract Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound ...

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo