OKC Thunder quotes: Sam Presti said the team isn’t competing with its past in terms of future success

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OKC Thunder quotes: Sam Presti said the team isn’t competing with its past in terms of future success
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Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti said during his exit interview on Monday that the franchise faces no pressure from their past success and that this new iteration of the team will pave its own success.

Presti also acknowledged, that while the Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden teams were special, the chances of replicating that draft success are slim to none. Just because that’s the case, doesn’t mean that the new era of the Thunder cannot be successful in its own way.

“Skill is recognizing when you’ve been fortunate, and I know we’ve been very fortunate. I don’t think it’s like — if you assign yourself credit for things you probably don’t deserve credit for, I could see you maybe having some pressure because you don’t really in your heart believe that you can do it again. I don’t know how that happened. I think it was a lot of things that came together.

But the main thing is Kevin Durant is a basketball god, James Harden is a basketball genius, and Russell Westbrook is a basketball warrior. It’s like, I don’t know, that happened, but it wasn’t because we happened to like bring it out of them.

I think we created an environment where they could be their best selves, and they’ve all exceeded expectations.

Look, I just feel very fortunate, but I know that wasn’t like us. We just have to keep applying the same principles and processes that allowed that to happen. But that’s probably never going to happen again. That’s okay. That was an incredible thing that happened, but we’re not competing with our past. That was a great thing, but we’re not competing with our past.

We’re trying to create a future. I don’t know what that’s going to look like. I don’t know if that’s going to be four Western Conference Finals in six years. I have no idea. That’s the beauty of what we’re doing, though. We’re going to enjoy and embrace and love whatever happens from here because it’s going to be ours and the people that are walking with us. It’s going to be individually ours, Oklahoma’s. Whatever happens next, we’re going to own that.”

Presti played it smart here, drafting three consecutive MVPs will never happen again in professional sports, much less to the same team again; but that doesn’t mean the Thunder can’t be a title contender again. In all honestly, the Thunder only truly need one of those type of guys and then it can start chasing for wins. While it’s a little somber to think that the franchise’s best days might’ve happened already, that doesn’t mean fans can’t be excited about the potential of the future. Right now it’s about getting that guy to pair along with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey and only then can we consider the team is cooking with something.

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OKC Thunder quotes: Biggest takeaways from GM Sam Presti's exit interview