Sam Presti Rumors
Green played a crucial role, according to Thunder General Manager Sam Presti, identifying one of the right partners for the three-team swap at the 2015 trade deadline that netted the Thunder the big man Enes Kanter and forward Kyle Singler. “She’s like a quality-control expert with our processes, making sure we’re following them,” Presti said of Green. “She’s strong and confident enough to articulate when she feels like we may be skipping a step.”
Presti looked on, observing what he hoped was fruitful cross-pollination in an organization that, he said, still strives to preserve the “start-up challenge or spirit” of its relaunch in Oklahoma City nearly a decade ago. “We really believe that diversity of the people you work with make for some of the marginal gains you can achieve,” he said, referring to the varied careers of several staffers, including one who worked with the Navy SEALs. “I hire people, not positions. I keep lists of people who I think are high-potential individuals.” Green, Presti said, “was on that list for a very long time.”
Green, 31, who grew up in Queens, knows the 510-page agreement between the league and the players’ union pretty well as she nears the completion of her fourth season as the Thunder’s basketball operations coordinator. Her status makes her one of the few women in the N.B.A. with a prominent job in what is termed basketball operations. Unlike several women with important roles in business development, marketing and other aspects of the multimillion-dollar business that is a pro basketball team, Green, in her job, centers on the game in the most granular way — like mastering the current C.B.A.
“When you walk in the building every day and see things running the right way,” Durant said, “you go out there and practice the right way and play the right way.” Even now, though, the Thunder have already played an outsize role in changing this city. “It’s been amazing to see the growth,” Durant said. “It feels like we’re all growing together.”
No one outside the Thunder, not even the ancient Tim Duncan, can say they have been with their team from the beginning. This team is still in its infancy. Thunder general manager Sam Presti, who keeps stacks of Architectural Digest behind his desk and Frank Llloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe biographies in his office, said its legacy is being built every day. Even now, though, the Thunder have already played an outsize role in changing this city. “It’s been amazing to see the growth,” Durant said. “It feels like we’re all growing together.”
Thunder general manager Sam Presti was among the throng of Thunder players, coaches and personnel on hand in support of Durant’s organization. “He’s embraced the platform he has,” Presti said. “As much as he’s evolved as a player, it’s been more rewarding to see his evolution as a person and a civic leader.”