Friday, September 28, 2007

Sonics Q&A: Sam Presti

With Media Day just three days away, Sonics GM Sam Presti chatted Friday about training camp, what he's seen from the players as they've been working out at The Furtado Center during September and the team's additions to the coaching and front-office staffs.
SUPERSONICS.COM: Are you excited for the start of training camp?
Presti: I'm excited for our organization. It seems like quite a while since the draft and the summer league, so we're excited to start getting on the floor and putting our guys in motion.
You've talked extensively about the importance of consistent incremental improvement. What demonstrates that kind of improvement during training camp?
I think it can be little stuff. It can be how quickly we move through different phases of practice, how we pick things up, how efficient we are in execution. It can be a number of different things, but at the end of the day it's just a matter of coming in and doing your job and trying to make those improvements every day and then seeing where you are at the end of the day or at the end of the month or game by game.
How important is training camp in the process of building a culture in Seattle?
I think it's certainly important. The environment that you create in and around your team is always evolving any time you have everybody out on the floor together or on the road together or whatever it may be. Training camp is obviously the beginning of that, but it's an evolutional thing that occurs throughout the season.
As the guys have been working out and playing pickup at Furtado over the last few weeks, what have you learned about this group?
I've learned that we've got a lot of guys who like being in the gym. That's certainly a positive. We've had a lot of guys in twice a day, we've had a lot of guys here for long hours. Hopefully that kind of effort and that kind of discipline will translate onto the floor once the season begins.
Since we last chatted, the coaching staff has been completed and the front-office staff has also grown, particularly in the scouting department. Can you speak about the people who are now in place?
We're thrilled with the staffs that we've been able to assemble, especially in such a short amount of time. We feel like we've got great playing experience and head-coaching experience on our staff with Scott (Brooks), Mark (Bryant) and Ralph (Lewis) having played in the league and obviously Paul Westhead is a great addition for us. Brian Keefe is a strong development coach that we're excited to have in our program. From a front-office standpoint, I feel grateful to have Rich (Cho) and Scott (Perry) in the office every day with me and I feel great about our scouting staff, both from an international standpoint and a domestic standpoint.