OKLAHOMA CITY — In the wake of Kevin Durant’s deleted tweets that slammed his former team and coach, Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti responded on Friday by taking the high road and praising Durant’s time in Oklahoma City.
“I think the only thing I can say to that is just to be consistent with everything that I have said and everyone else from the organization,” Presti said. “I, and no one from the Thunder, really has anything negative to say about Kevin Durant, and I think we’ve been hopefully very open about the fact that we have tremendous appreciation and respect for what he and his teammates and coaches and everybody over his tenure here accomplished, and I really don’t think there’s anything more to say than that.”
Durant, responding to a fan who asked why he left the Thunder for the Golden State Warriors, tweeted that he didn’t like the organization or playing for coach Billy Donovan, along with saying the roster “wasn’t that good.” Durant apologized for the tweets, calling them “idiotic” and “childish,” though he denied intending to post the third-person comments to a separate anonymous account.
Durant told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday he reached out to apologize to Donovan, though Presti said he hasn’t heard from Durant and couldn’t speak for anyone else in the organization.
“I’m not asking people that question,” Presti said. “Maybe he has, but I can’t tell you that he has.”
The Durant firestorm took center stage at Presti’s preseason availability over what has been the main storyline lingering around the Thunder this offseason — Russell Westbrook’s unsigned extension. Westbrook has a five-year, $207 million designated veteran player extension offer on the table from the Thunder. He has a deadline of Oct. 16 to sign it.
“We’re going to let that play itself out, and as we’ve said, he has and we have until the 16th of October to be permitted to sign that, and he’ll have — we’re going to have that offer on the table as long as it’s permitted to be there, and obviously we’re hopeful that that takes place,” Presti said. “But until the 16th passes, I’m not going to put like a label or adjective or anything like that on it.”
Westbrook has not yet delivered an answer to the Thunder, but many expect clarity on the situation to come early in training camp, which begins next week. Should Westbrook reject the extension, which would award him the largest contract in NBA history, he would become an unrestricted free agent next…