It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights, it's time to meet the GM on the Presti show tonight!
Locke Poops His Own Pants With Joy OK, maybe I did a little bit too.
Presti must have mentioned the word, â€œprocessâ€ at least ten times. â€œWe need to define a process, define an identity for Sonics basketball,â€ he said.
He specifically mentioned that the team needs to get a defensive identity. He mentioned acquiring players that play the game with a bigger purpose than self. He talked about the veterans of the Spurs that he has been associated with: Danny Ferry, Avery Johnson, Robert Horry, etc.
Presti is a man of process, whether that process is gaining information from his scouts or if it is through a Billy Beane-style analytical approach.
Dallas Mavericks Assistant Joe Prunty was Prestiâ€™s first supervisor when he interned for the Spurs.
â€œThe early impression was that he was a go-getter, he found a way to make an impact," said Prunty. "He was very much into studies and reports. He really worked hard to find ways to improve the manner we looked at players. He is going to work hard to do what he thinks is right.â€
That backs up the words that are most often associated with Presti: work ethic, approach and energy.
That is the culture of Sam Presti, and now he is bringing a culture to the Sonics.
Seattle's a process town so sounds like a great fit. :)
Lenny called FSN earlier today and informed them that because of his demotion, he will no longer be the team's color analyst. No word on who his replacement is, but if I am Kevin Calabro I am feeling a little like Elizabeth Taylor with husbands.
BRING BACK MARQUES!
Can I get an amen?
LOL I used to shoot hoops at Lawton elementary there ... nothing makes you feel like a man more than dunking on a 7 ft hoop.
Kidding aside, it was a riveting first day for Presti. He appeared to be everything the Sonics need: a mastermind with perspective, creative but realistic, highbrow but low-key.
He managed to inspire confidence without saying anything of substance. That's Chapter 1 of the GM Handbook, right? It must be. The best ones know the trick so well.
Asked about his vision for the Sonics, Presti said: "We want resilient players. We want competitors. We want professionals."
Guess that means no more Danny Fortson.
And looks like Jerry's joined the blog world. Congrats man.
Thankfully we are spared the remedial idiocy of Steve Kelley for another few days.
Now it appears that Presti and Bennett will have the say while Wilkens, who as a coach led the Sonics to the 1979 NBA title and also has served as a general manager in the past, will consult.
"I view the San Antonio Spurs as the premier franchise in our business, and Sam Presti has clearly had an important role within that organization," Bennett said. "That brought him to the table. That's not why he got the job. He got the job because of who he is, how he does things and what he stands for. I believe he has the skill set and perspective to fill the challenge of building this organization."
Dressed in a navy suit, clean-shaven (he sported a goatee with the Spurs) with horn-rimmed glasses, Presti initially appeared nervous but expressed excitement with his new situation.
"I look at this opportunity as one of great potential," he said. "What we have in front of us in Seattle is a challenge, and I am invigorated and looking forward to attacking this and rolling up my sleeves and getting after it every day."
The Emerson College graduate and accomplished drummer has been made aware of perceptions that he plans to make the Sonics "Spurs North." He dispelled that thinking.
"That's San Antonio; it's a special situation with special, special talent," he said. "That's not what we're trying re-create here. My focus is on Seattle. My focus is where we're going. Defensively we need to establish an identity. Our focus is not going to be necessarily finding NBA players; it will be finding Sonics."
When the Sonics hired Sam Presti as general manager Thursday, Bennett took away Wilkensâ€™ title as president and renamed him vice chairman because, sources say, Bennett was upset with the short tenure of the 69-year-old Wilkens and wanted to, as one source said, â€œput Lenny out to pasture.â€
From Wilkensâ€™ unsavory handling of the announcement of his position of president to his perceived mismanagement of the hiring of a general manager and coach, Bennett was said to be so upset with Wilkens the divide was irreversible.
Wilkens will remain with the organization in an advisory capacity, but day-to-day power has been handed to the 30-year-old Presti.
Though Wilkens had interviewed Portland consultant John Gabriel and Atlanta Hawks assistant general manager Gary Fitzsimmons, Bennett interviewed Presti and Washington Wizards assistant general manager Tommy Sheppard by himself.
It wasnâ€™t until Tuesday night in Colorado Springs, Colo., that Wilkens met Presti, though by then it was established in Bennettâ€™s mind that Wilkens no longer would have a significant say and Bennett was going to make the final decision.
In fact, up until Bennett decided to hire Presti, Wilkens had been informing Gabriel he was going to recommend Gabriel to Bennett for the opening. Apparently, Wilkens did not know Bennett was planning on taking away his power.
What this means for the future of the organization and for Wilkens remains to be seen, but in the short term it implies Presti will have significantly more input in major decisions than originally believed.
Several league insiders thought Wilkens wanted to hire his friend Paul Silas for the coaching vacancy, but this likely means Silas will not get the job, at least not based on Wilkensâ€™ recommendation.
Presti has a good relationship with Rick Carlisle, recently fired by the Indiana Pacers, and though he is not close with Carlesimo, he has inside knowledge of him.
As much as I wasn't a fan of Lenny calling the shots, it's really crappy of the TNT to put that story out there without a byline on it. In fact, it's cowardly. Edit: I've been informed that the print version of the TNTs article carries a Frank Hughes byline on it ... for some reason the online version didn't have a credit this morning. I figured it was probably a Hughes article, but the TNT's done some staff collaborations in the past so you never know.
Off the court, Presti is an accomplished drummer who has produced three CDs, with all proceeds donated to the Extra Ordinary Needs Fund at Childrenâ€™s Hospital in Boston.
Sam, call me ...let's jam.
Onwards and upwards folks!