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Thunder leadership, be careful….the fans are watching….


Phoenix Suns guard Ricky Rubio (11) shoots next to Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) (Photo: Sue Ogrocki, AP)


If nothing else, the Oklahoma City Thunder, as governed by the General Manager Sam Presti and majority owner Clay Bennett, owe the season ticket holders of the team to put forth the best product available for this current 2019-2020 season. So far, through one third of the season, so good.  Currently, the Thunder are sitting in a playoff spot, being a 6th, 7th, or 8th seed.  As continued improvement (the team is winning more games recently than losing) seems to be the pattern, maybe this team can go even higher.





It is no secret that Presti has always talked a good game in that he has done his due diligence to keep the franchise on a positive and winning course.  His emphasis for the Thunder to be viable each and every year has been consistent.  Following a pattern set by the Utah Jazz, OKC, under Presti, has been a franchise that would make the playoffs, even if the chance to win an NBA title was not that high on a year to year basis.  Yet here in the south plains, the team on Reno Street has been very successful in the short eleven year history, and the Thunder has been a winner for the most part.  



For Presti and Bennett, the goal to be a playoff team has been paramount, and a winner fills the seats, brings notoriety to the city and state, and showcases the ultra talent of the players that wear the uniform.  With the re-build currently taking place, Presti must not dismember this current squad, knowing that some tweaking and roster shuffle might be necessary. 



A gutting of the team would not be in the best interests of this franchise, especially when a re-build will take no less than three years with a possibility that OKC might never make it to the Western Finals in the least or an NBA Finals appearance in our lifetime. 



Nothing is guaranteed with a rebuild in the NBA.  To think it is, a foregone conclusion that OKC will be successful in the endeavor, one is being foolish.  It might happen. It might not happen too.  Trash this team today in OKC could be the all-time mistake of this franchise. 





If you are a member of the Thunder Nation, I believe you understand what could happen shortly with the OKC Thunder. Sure, the big guy from Italy will need to be moved as of an expiring contract. Let’s hope that Presti gets someone in return that will not significantly wreck the team for the rest of the season.  Any trades which include some of the other key players (we know who they are) that do not give the team immediate help will in fact “tank” this season and will disrespect the current season ticket holders.  To work at getting a top one, two ,or three draft choice for the 2020 draft is still a crap shoot and to sacrifice this season’s chance to make the playoffs for the ever changing future outlook would be unwise. 



Yes, working at getting a “can’t miss” player is important.  But there are no sure things in drafting players.  Take New Orleans and their “star” number one pick for this year then check his stats and where the Pelicans are in the standing.  Hell, that player might never be the great potential that the Pelicans drafted.  That is a fact.





Be cautious Sam Presti. This team will rebuild, but a bad move here or there and that construction might not include you for the long term.








Feature photo:  Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder in action on Friday, Dec 20, 2019.    Alonzo Adams  USA Today


About Fred Pahlke

Fred Pahlke, an Oklahoma native has viewed over 10,000 sporting events in his 65 years. A season ticket holder of the Oklahoma City Thunder, former season tickect holder for the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma City University Chiefs/Stars, he is an expert in both professional and college basketball and football. A high school athlete at Classen High School in basketball and tennis, he played amateur tennis after high school in the Missouri Valley Tennis Association. A graduate of Oklahoma City University, he taught in the public schools for 6 years before becoming a building administrator in the Oklahoma City Public Schools for 31 years, 28 as the Principal of various schools in the district. He has guided various high school and college athletes in his time as an educator and coach. Fredsportsextra has recorded 101, 410 article views in its first ten months, from August 2015 through May 2016.

2 Responses to “Thunder leadership, be careful….the fans are watching….”

  1. tony taylor
    December 23, 2019 at 9:28 am

    I think we should see if we could get galli on a short contract , provided he is happy here in okc. I dont know if this team makes all the big money fans turn up in droves but yeah we the faithful are really enjoying it . Sam the goat (greatest of all traders) has once again pulled the rabbit outta the hat and put together a team that reminds me of maybe the atlanta group from a few years ago. We dont have say a top 10 talent but we got talent from top to bottom and best of all seems like team chemistry is really on point. hope the org reads your story fred but im sure sam and clay got this figured out.

    • December 23, 2019 at 9:11 pm

      I am sure they have had their visit with Gallo. Yes, he probably likes OKC but a long term high $$$$ contract wi what someone of his age and ability would strive for. As for the big $$$$ fans, they will be ok….they have $$$$$. As for top ten talent, OKC is not short on talent one bit. They currently do not have the one or two super star players that we had with Westbrook and George but where did that get up but an early out in the playoffs and $$$$$ in the salary tax….NOT GOOD. Sam knows what he is doing but that can be said of most GMs and as we know, things do not always go as planned.

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