HoopsHype Sam Presti rumors

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May 2, 2015 Updates

"It's been a complete whirlwind for me the last four or five days," Donovan said. "I am extremely thankful the way [Thunder general manager Sam Presti] laid out the organization to me over about a two-and-a-half-day period because, to be honest with you, I really did not know a lot about the Oklahoma City Thunder. I knew of Sam, I obviously knew of the players and organization, but I didn't know what it was about. And it was that -- that really made me turn my head when I started to find out more, that I think the qualities, the values, what this organization is about is directly in line and mirrors what I believe." ESPN.com

“We wanted to identify a person with the traits associated with high achieving leaders in their respective fields; a continuous learning mentality, the ability to adapt, evolve and innovate, intrinsically motivated, humility, and great tactical competence,” Presti said in a statement released by the team. “While we created a comprehensive analysis regarding the qualities we were looking for, it became quite evident that Billy was the ideal fit for the Thunder as we look to transition our team into the future.” Washington Post

May 1, 2015 Updates
April 30, 2015 Updates

“We are thrilled to welcome Billy and his family to the Oklahoma City Thunder organization. When we began the process of identifying the next head coach of the Thunder, we started with a vision and the identifiable qualities that we felt were necessary for our organization as well as the ever evolving role of the head coach in today's NBA. We wanted to identify a person with the traits associated with high achieving leaders in their respective fields; a continuous learning mentality, the ability to adapt, evolve and innovate, intrinsically motivated, humility, and great tactical competence,” Presti said. “While we created a comprehensive analysis regarding the qualities we were looking for, it became quite evident that Billy was the ideal fit for the Thunder as we look to transition our team into the future. Billy has achieved an incredible level of success and experience within his 21 years as a head coach and has shown the unique ability to not only create but sustain an elite program. His emotional intelligence, commitment to the concept of team, and relentless approach to incremental improvement have allowed him to bring his players together and establish lasting relationships through competitive success. Billy's core values and alignment with our culture and community, as well as his proven tactical abilities, make him an ideal addition to the Thunder organization.” ‎ NBA.com

April 29, 2015 Updates

CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish reports that the Thunder coaching search is solely focused on Florida's Billy Donovan, who is said to have met with GM Sam Presti on Tuesday. According to other reports, Donovan wants to meet with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka before accepting the job, which he is strongly considering. CBSSports.com reported last week after Brooks was fired that Donovan was the Thunder's first choice. League sources now say Presti has cordially fielded calls from agents for other possible candidates, but has been moving forward exclusively in his pursuit of Donovan. CBSSports.com

The Oklahoma City Thunder have formally entered into advanced discussions about their vacant coaching job with Florida coach Billy Donovan, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that Donovan and Thunder general manager Sam Presti have opened a serious dialogue about the position, which became available a week ago after the dismissal of Scott Brooks. One source close to the situation went so far as to tell ESPN.com that "the job is Donovan's to lose." ESPN.com

The Oklahoma City Thunder are preparing an offer for Florida coach Billy Donovan and pushing for him to accept the job as head coach, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Donovan is the only serious candidate in general manager Sam Presti’s search, and the two-time national championship coach is enthusiastic about the possibility of the job – if terms on a deal can be reached, sources told Yahoo Sports. Yahoo! Sports

Adrian Wojnarowski: Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti flew to Florida and met with Billy Donovan on Tuesday, league sources tell Yahoo. Formal offer expected soon. Twitter @WojYahooNBA

The Oklahoma City Thunder have formally commenced discussions about their vacant coaching job with Florida coach Billy Donovan, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that Donovan and Thunder general manager Sam Presti have opened a dialogue about the position, which became available a week ago after the dismissal of Scott Brooks. ESPN.com

April 28, 2015 Updates

Presti’s trip to Gainesville is of particular interest given his track record with the Gators coaching staff. Last summer, Presti hired two Gators assistants: Mark Daigneault as head coach of the Oklahoma City Blue and Oliver Winterbone as an analyst. Presti also is believed to have a close relationship with Donovan, who on several occasions has expressed interest in making a jump to the NBA. Oklahoman

Donovan has a reputation for running a tight ship in Gainesville. He runs highly-structured, highly demanding practices, keeps the media at bay with an extremely controlled environment and maintains a small inner circle. He’s also consumed by his passion for basketball. Last year, Donovan said the opportunity to focus solely on basketball is one of the things that intrigue him about coaching in the NBA. Oklahoman

April 27, 2015 Updates

It starts with a blue-collar approach that makes no room for excuses or complaints. It requires embracing the community and understanding the team’s role in it. It mandates you believe and buy in to a team philosophy and put aside individual goals for the greater good. “You can’t have an ego,” Thunder assistant general manager Troy Weaver told The Oklahoman earlier this month about working in the organization. Added director of basketball operations Paul Rivers: “Egos, it just doesn’t work here. You won’t survive. That’ll be your fastest way out the door.” Oklahoman

April 26, 2015 Updates

Presti thought Brooks was a good coach. But Presti believes he can find a better coach. At least for this Thunder roster at this point in time. “I think you are always evaluating, and thinking to yourself, ‘How do we improve, how do we grow, and where are those opportunities as an organization that is focused on building a sustainable team and a great organization?’” Presti said. “Those are questions you have to ask yourself.” Oklahoman

April 22, 2015 Updates

All signs point to University of Florida coach Billy Donovan, a longtime friend of Thunder GM Sam Presti who is itching to move to the pros, league sources told CBSSports.com on Wednesday. "He's ready to try the NBA," said one person who has been in contact with Donovan. CBSSports.com

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