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Sam Presti tells funny story related to Russell Westbrook, NBA dress code

During the season, the camaraderie displayed by the Oklahoma City Thunder was very evident. From postgame barks to messing with each other during their media availabilities, it’s obvious how close-knit this group was.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti had a similar assessment of OKC’s chemistry. In his end-of-season presser, he compared this squad’s chemistry to previous iterations such as the ‘Thunder U’ and ‘Stache Bros’ eras.

Presti even revealed an interesting anecdote about Russell Westbrook that he felt comfortable enough to tell several years later.

“I’ll give you a funny story on this. The Statute of Limitations is over here. It’s really my own Statute of Limitations,” Presti joked. “… We were playing San Antonio in the playoffs, and it was during this really weird time where the NBA was cracking down on the dress code, but they were also starting to promote the outfits.

“So it was like they’re calling us and threatening to fine us, but then the marketing team — their marketing team was plastering pictures of Russell walking in.”

As most know, Westbrook is one of the more notorious fashion icons of this latest era of NBA players. He’s made countless headlines off his game attires alone.

“They liked to give us a hard time I felt. They called me the day of a playoff game in San Antonio — so it was either the second round or Western Conference Finals — and they’re like, ‘You need to talk to Westbrook about what he’s wearing,'” Presti said. “I go, ‘It’s the day of a playoff game. He might have some chaps and a cowboy hat — I don’t know what the guy is wearing.’ But we’re on the road… He’s definitely not walking in in sweatpants. I can tell you that. He may not play.”

“So I waited. They were really giving us a hard time about this — ‘We’re going to fine you guys if he doesn’t do this.’ — I thought it was kinda ridiculous.”

As he waited, Presti brainstormed a genius idea that could convey the league’s message to Westbrook in a humorous tone.

“So I called Ray Westbrook, his brother. I said, ‘I need you to get me an outfit of Russell’s,'” Presti said. “So I dressed up in one of Russell’s — a sleeveless hooded sweatshirt, leather pants, and a gold — he had this gold lion medallion, which when I picked it up, it was so cheap — I was like, ‘Russ, come on, man. I know what you make.'”

Presti said it was a nice break from an intense playoff run. He noted that the Thunder were a serious group that season as they vied for a championship.

“Because the team was very tight and it was so serious — it’s a serious group. This was Adams, Derek Fisher, Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka. It’s not a bowl of cherries in there every day, and that’s why this particular team was good,” Presti said. “But I walked in wearing Russell’s clothes and didn’t really break character and was just like, ‘Guys, we’ve got to talk about the dress code.'”

Presti’s end-of-season pressers are typically long — this year’s lasted over 2.5 hours — but they’re worth the listen to just for the occasional funny story like this. It displays a relatable aspect to Presti and the players that rarely gets shown in a results-oriented industry.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire