by Alex Poletti
Chairman of the Professional Basketball Club, owners of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Clay Bennett announced that the team will name general manager Sam Presti MVP just so they can get rid of him, in keeping with the Thunder’s storied trade and free agent history.
“Obviously, Presti has not helped our ballclub whatsoever,” Bennett says of the longtime general manager. “However, the Thunder only part ways with MVPs, so we had to give him an award just so we could get rid of him.”
Since becoming GM in 2007, Presti has seen some of the most talented players of this generation play in Oklahoma City uniforms, including three MVPs in James Harden, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Just yesterday, Westbrook was shipped off to Houston for Chris Paul and picks, meaning the team was not able to retain any of their star players long term.
“We’ve had a lot of stars run through our system,” head coach Billy Donovan says. “How we could never win a championship, even before I got here, I don’t know. I understand why ownership is saying there must be a change in order. I’m just glad the team hasn’t named me an All-Star or Sixth Man of the Year yet, because that would mean I’m getting booted soon, too.”
Despite all their talent, the Thunder was only able to reach one Finals in 2012, when they lost to the Heat in five games. Back when the team had the formidable duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in 2016, they held a 3-1 lead over the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. In true Thunder fashion, however, they choked and lost Durant in free agency to the Warriors that offseason.
Presti was quick to defend the managerial decisions he amde over the course of his 12-year career. He explains that he has not only traded MVPs, but also let numerous All-Stars walk in free agency and traded other assets as well.
“I’ve heard people saying that I just trade MVP winners away all the time, but that’s simply not true,” Presti says. “I’ve traded anyone who had any value to the organization. Paul George finished third in MVP voting this year, and I let him walk. Not to mention, I traded Carmelo. I’m about to trade Chris Paul, too. I don’t want to be remembered as the guy who lost three MVPs. I want to be remembered as the guy who completely dismantled one of the most talented teams in basketball.”