Sam Presti & the Oklahoma City Thunder: From NBA Novelty to Small Market Dynasty

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Sam Presti & the Oklahoma City Thunder: From NBA Novelty to Small Market Dynasty

When I was growing up, I used to love to play the EA Sports title, NBA Live.

Actually, that's not entirely true. Those who know me will tell you that I love to "make up teams." The game play itself I find to be monotonous over time. There's only so many pick-and-roll's you can run before you go on auto-pilot.

Instead, I would simulate season after season in an effort to get to the offseason; always in pursuit of that perfect draft, that perfect trade and those perfect free agent signings, resulting in the perfect team. I once devoted an entire week to fixing the Knicks. I did what Donnie Walsh could not—I signed LeBron James.

By my estimation, I've been playing pretend GM on NBA, NFL and MLB video games for around 15 years, and I happen to think that I've become extremely adept in the front office. So much so that I actually mentioned that in a few of the half dozen emails that I sent to Sam Presti's attention a couple of years ago. But, as David Kahn, Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas and so many others have shown us, running a professional basketball team turns out to be a little bit harder than it looks—which makes what Presti is doing in Oklahoma City even that much more impressive.

...and also probably explains why I never got so much as a "go away" in response to my video game resume.

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