Sam Presti’s plan to build the Oklahoma City Thunder into the NBA’s best team nearly came to fruition earlier than expected. The Thunder were the favorites to win the title before bowing out to the Heat in five games, but they are expected to make several more runs at the championship because of Presti’s astute management.
Presti is a Concord-Carlisle High School and Emerson College product whose primary goal after college was returning to Concord-Carlisle to become basketball coach. He received a higher calling, though, when he met Spurs general manager R.C. Buford at a basketball camp in Aspen, Colo., in 2000. Buford hired him as an intern and Presti quickly rose through the ranks with San Antonio.