Sam Presti kicked off media day Thursday with a long and entertaining session in Oklahoma City. He touched on a number of questions – from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and his thoughts on batsmen vis-a-vis the developmental arc of basketball teams – but he had other interesting points to make.
He said this year’s Thunder should be the second-youngest team in NBA history, behind only last year’s Thunder.
SGA became the latest star-level young player to hit the rumor market after the Jazz traded Donovan Mitchell to the Cavaliers. Presti was asked about this development and he responded, surprisingly, with a dissection of the media ecosystem in 2022.
“The only reason we’re talking about it is that another player from another team was traded,” he said. “The machine – the aggregation machine – is empty now. So we need a bit more content. That’s the price of entry. It’s not a penalty. Nobody’s here to try to disrupt the Thunder or create problems for the Thunder. That’s the We work in the company we work in. It shouldn’t surprise you, because there has to be content. It’s a company. We We need attention. Attention generates ads. Ads generate salaries. And that’s how it works. So I just think I’m leveling it to say that if Donovan Mitchell wasn’t already traded, you wouldn’t ask me that question, so I don’t think they’re related.
As I sat there wondering if I was part of this machine now, Presti continued. Notably, he walked away from a Pearl Jam discussion to throw hosannas at the feet of Seattle and its place as a basketball city. Seattle, of course, lost its beloved supersonics to Oklahoma City.
Presti thinks they’ll find a team soon enough.
“Seattle is an amazing place, an amazing city,” he said. “They will have a basketball team again… All of us here are hoping that will happen… When it does, it will be awesome.”
So what does Presti know and when did he know it? Not exactly stifling expectations of NBA expansion.
Anyway, in case you thought Presti was just here saying some stuff, he assured listeners that wasn’t the case. He began a response about the growth he has undergone in his 16 years in charge of the Thunder with the assurance that everything he says is sincere belief. The Presti we see is the Presti everyone gets, and that’s fantastic.
“It’s not performance art,” he said. “I’m not on Twitter. And it’s not Twitter. That’s what I really think.”
(Photo by Sam Presti: Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)