At 2pm the SuperSonics new GM Sam Presti held a press conference in which nothing substantial was said. The most notable part of the day was not Presti's comments, but rather the feeling that this is how it is going to be from here on out. 11 minutes of reserved commentary.
You heard me, 11 minutes. More than 20 media members got to watch Sam Presti be ushered in, sit at the table, answer 10-15 questions, and be ushered out. A sharp, sharp contrast to the same event last year in which Rick Sund, Dave Pendergraft, and Steve Rosenberry were available for an hour and a half and media members got the chance to mill about randomly, striking up conversations with any of the three and prying for a bit of information or insight.
In fact Presti seems to be the anti-Rick Sund. Sund is an extremely casual man. Literally moments after I met him for the first time he broke into what became a nearly automatic first sentence for him "This is off the record right?" and proceded to tell me a couple of stories that would make the average basketball fans ears burn. Rick loved to commiserate and you could always tell that his skills were in managing the crowd, working the delicate balance of politics and people. Always analyzing the variables and working them for a decision. Presti on the other hand seems to be a guy who continually removes the variables rather than analyzes them. The environment seemed extremely controlled and each comment tremendously calculated. The contrast was stunning.
This is not a criticism of Presti although I am pretty much on record as a guy who thinks the team should do more to develop it's media relations. Presti is going to be a tank without a hint of information leaked. Him and Rich Cho will hold staring contests with the media and will never, ever blink. I have this vision of Steve Kelly literally turning to stone under their glare like the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. They'll point at his statue as a warning to all other people who dare to ask questions.
Presti does however come across as extremely personable, charismatic, and flat out smart. Just intensely controlled.
On another topic the latest team projection for Draft Day Festivities is 3,000 people. Be one of them and show up for a momentous occasion.