“How should they feel about him? You know, listen, I’m not going to tell people how to feel or not to judge or what have you. I just think that what he represented for the city was something larger than basketball. I think that he arrived at a time where the city was also on an upward trajectory, a 20-year-old young man in an aspirational city. People kind of snicker and kind of sneer when we talk about that kind of stuff, but my guess is you’re probably not doing that right now.
You know, we talk and you guys would hear me say, this connection to this community, and the typing would stop and the eyes would roll. But I was saying that truthfully and authentically because I know how this business works, and I know that these days are possible. And we need to recognize what exactly took place here over the last eight years and recognize it and celebrate it.
They should feel thankful, grateful. They should not — I can’t tell them not to be disappointed, but the one thing I would also say is the city should be incredibly proud of what they’ve helped create for the Thunder. It’s not possible without that. They need to carry that on.
They need to carry on the spirit and the fight and the grit, because that was here before the Thunder. That was here before the Thunder, that spirit, that ability to continue to press forward. That’s in the water here.
I think all of us, Kevin included, was a beneficiary of that approach and what’s in Oklahoma. So my message would be, carry on. Carry on and continue to be proud of what it is that you represent. It’s much bigger than the Thunder.” — Sam Presti