Sam Presti took the podium for his annual preseason media day press conference. Presti leads the way for the OKC Thunder, as Mark Daigneault and the entire roster will speak to us on Monday ahead of training camp opening on Tuesday.
Each year, the NBA world is going to overanalyze the previous Champion. How did they get to the mountaintop? What lessons can be learned from their path? What can be copied and implemented to help a different organization do the same? The Denver Nuggets are no different; in a copycat league, we continue to ask how can the OKC Thunder get to a championship.
Sam Presti explains what the OKC Thunder can learn from the NBA Champion Denver Nuggets.
The Denver Nuggets were able to secure their first NBA Championship back in June. Their core of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and head coach Michael Malone dealt with a lot of adversity. Through it all, the Nuggets eventually came out on top.
When I asked the OKC Thunder general manager about lessons that the team could learn from the Nuggets, Sam Presti was eager to highlight the “Commitment” that the Denver Nuggets made to their players and those players made back to the organization. That is something the OKC Thunder will have to duplicate.
With a strong core headlined by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren, it will take time for the Thunder to gel together. There will be epic highs and plenty of adversity along the way.
Just as Chet Holmgren missed his entire rookie season, Jamal Murray suffered a devastating ACL injury. The Nuggets remained committed to Murray post-injury, and he helped deliver a championship.
The OKC Thunder will also have to figure out how to play together; it took eight seasons for Nikola Jokic, a two-time MVP, to get the Nuggets to a Championship. For years, Jokic missed the playoffs and even got bounced in the first round the year before the title.