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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Notes, Quotes 2009-05-20

Oklahoma City Thunder Notes, Quotes 2009-05-20

Oklahoma City Thunder Notes, Quotes 2009-05-20
--General manager Sam Presti didn't judge the first season in Oklahoma City on the 23 wins. Instead, he remained focused on the big picture.

"We know that it's one step in the process for us," Presti said. "We feel like we have made progress on an individual and team basis.

"When you get off to the start that we did and your team hangs together, they keep coming to work every day, they're not pointing fingers at each other, but they're coming in and relying on each other and working to get better. As tough as a situation as that was, I think the resiliency that was shown by the guys in the locker room really bodes well for us moving forward."

Presti enters his third offseason already having disassembled a mediocre/aging roster in favor of promising/young talent. The team has multiple draft picks and cap space to work with over the next several years.

"As we head into the offseason, the vision and the approach for our basketball team remains the same," Presti said. "We're going to be methodical and disciplined as we put our roster together and continue to take steps forward. The focus will continue to be on making decisions that will help us in the immediate and in the long term."

--The Thunder and Spurs will face each other in a preseason game on Oct. 20 at the Erwin Center in Austin. The exhibition is seen as a win-win for two franchises with ties to the Texas capital.

The Thunder's franchise player, Kevin Durant, played for the University of Texas, which played its home games at the Erwin Center. The Spurs-owned D-League franchise (Toros) is based in Austin.

The game marks the first time Durant will play a game on the campus since Feb. 28, 2007. Durant spent one season with the Longhorns, earning consensus national Player of the Year honors, before being drafted second overall in 2007. Durant's No. 35 jersey hangs in the rafters.

--Scott Brooks has challenged rookie point guard Russell Westbrook to make across-the-board improvements over the summer. That includes shooting, passing, ball handling, defense and decision-making.

"He's going to have to really step up and have a great summer," Brooks said. "He can't rest on the year that he has had. I believe that at a young age you shouldn't just work on one area, you should get better on all areas of the game."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It helps a lot because you know what to expect. We know what to expect from Scotty and we know what he wants. So it'll be easier for us going into the summer knowing what we have to work on." -- F Jeff Green, on Scott Brooks returning as coach next season.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: May 20, 2009


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