Sam Presti ’00 is the executive vice president and general manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the NBA team currently playing the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. The Thunder is leading the seven-game series 1-0.
Presti has realized many accomplishments during his five-year tenure with the team. After his third season, Oklahoma City experienced one of the largest turnarounds in NBA history, concluding the 2009-10 season with a record of 50-32, a year after winning just 23 games. After capturing the franchise’s first playoff berth that same year in Oklahoma City, Presti was named NBA Executive of the Year by The Sporting News. Additionally, Presti selected Kevin Durant with the team’s number two overall pick in the 2007 draft. Since then, Durant has developed into one of the premier players in the NBA, becoming just the 11th player in NBA history to lead the league in scoring in back-to-back seasons.
Prior to joining the Thunder, Presti held a variety of roles with the San Antonio Spurs. While with the Spurs, Presti was part of NBA Championship teams in 2003, 2005, and 2007 as well as five division titles.
Presti earned his bachelor’s degree in 2000 in communications, politics and law from Emerson, where he was the first Rhodes Scholar nominee in the College’s history. The Concord, Massachusetts, native served as team captain of Emerson’s basketball team during both his junior and senior seasons. In addition, Presti earned All-Academic honors two times and was also twice selected to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference All-Tournament team. He was honored with the Emerson College Young Alumnus Award in 2005.