Mr. Monday: Presti-digitation could turn into another magical Thunder season

Mr. Monday: Presti-digitation could turn into another magical Thunder season

How does OKC’s amazing GM Sam Presti do it? He starts with wingspan and somehow makes it all work.

Mr. Monday

By Mr. Monday

| Oct 23, 2023, 5:00pm CDT

Mr. Monday

By Mr. Monday

Oct 23, 2023, 5:00pm CDT

On the cusp of the Thunder season, Mr. Monday is happy to confess his intense curiosity about what this collection of long-wing-spanned young humans will do to a league that seems constantly befuddled by Sam Presti’s prestidigitation.

Let’s start with Presti. After some quick Wikipedia-ing, Mr. Monday would like to note that no team has ever erected a statute of a general manager. But, let’s face it, folks around Oklahoma will throw up a statue just about every other weekend. Seriously, do you have a friend from work with a statute in Norman? Mr. Monday does.

Presti has invented a whole new kind of math in the NBA, piling up trades, draft picks, swaps, potential second-rounders and salary cap exceptions that stretch from now far into the future.

Let’s face it: when artificial intelligence takes over the planet in a few decades, unleashing its horde of Terminators to hunt down human resistance, Skynet will still owe Presti the draft rights to a couple of obscure European forwards.

Presti has built a roster that is ahead of schedule in competing for playoff wins and an avalanche of custom T-shirts that will crowd everyone’s closets each spring. 

How does the Thunder do it? Mr. Monday believes there are a series of questions that Presti asks potential players to ensure their fit into the organization. 

Some of the questions:

  • First and foremost, is your name Jalen/Jaylin/Jaelen/Jalin Williams?
  • Can you reach into your refrigerator for a slice of pizza while you are still sitting on the sofa in the living room?
  • Do you look uncannily like President Abraham Lincoln?
  • Did you grow up in a foreign country or, barring that, Norman North?

If you review Presti’s draft history, there are some clunkers in there (We’ll save Byron Mullens the grief), but overall, his record makes you want to send him down to the gas station to buy your Powerball tickets.

Jalen Williams (editor’s note: Let’s just assume Mr. Monday spelled that right and is the one you are thinking of)  is the most recent rare Pokemon card that Presti managed to unwrap, but he’s not the only one. Josh Giddey has exceeded expectations in triple-doubles and hair fabulousness. Of course, there was Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and the gloriousness days of prime Steven Adams.

How this all ends up, of course, will be decided by the unpredictable strangeness of what happens on the court, where the Patrick Beverlys of the world can throw potential dynasties into chaos. 

But until then, Thunder fans can make plans for what Presti Plaza will look like in front of that fancy new arena (remember to vote!) while seeing if Williams and Williams and Giddey (not to mention SGA and the bearded Chet Holmgren) add up to another winner. 

Oklahoma City Thunder players, from left, Jalen Williams, Chet Holmgren, Josh Giddey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort made the cover of the latest issue of Slam magazine.

 

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Mr. Monday is both anonymous and fictional, so try not to get too worked up. Mr. Monday lives in a gated community but refuses to admit it is in Edmond. He enjoys walks to Braum’s with Mrs. Monday, being snobbish towards Tulsa and spending time with his three impressive children and two rather dumb dogs. Mr. Monday is on Twitter at @MrMondayOKC. DM’s are open.

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