Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Saltzman Says...Warriors must learn from the Buford/Presti Way

The two best GM's in basketball, R.C. Buford of the Spurs and Sam Presti of the Thunder have a simple philosophy about what to look for in the players they bring into their organizations:

"We know what we are looking for (hard-working, high-character, team-oriented, mentally tough, coachable and unselfish players), and the important component of it is knowing what works and what doesn't work — and that qualifies your risk," Buford said. "There are NBA players who aren't necessarily Spurs, and there are Spurs who may not fit someplace else."

"Then I thought about it for a minute, and I couldn't do that to my guys," Durant says (when asked why he ran suicides up a hill at the Oklahoma City practice facility voluntarily) . "It wouldn't have been fair to them." The Hill does not afford preferential treatment. Front-office executives drop their Blackberries, swap dress clothes for practice gear and run suicides. Entry-level assistants join them. When they are all sufficiently gassed, they head back to the pickup trucks, Durant sneaking a spot in a bed before coaches wisely point him to a passenger seat.

If you believe Stephen Curry, David Lee, Ekpe Udoh and Dorell Wright fit this mold, than maybe the combination of Keith Smart and Larry Riley make sense going forward.  However, does Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins, Vladimir Radmanovic, and Charlie Bell fit that mold?  That would mean half of the highest paid players on the roster don't fit the mold for success. 

hard-working, high-character, team-oriented, mentally tough, coachable and unselfish players

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