Posted May 24, 2012 on AP on Fox
(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By JEFF LATZKE AP Sports Writer Built by a general manager who earned his stripes with the San Antonio Spurs, the Oklahoma City Thunder now must face the four-time NBA champions who in some ways served as a model for their franchise. General manager Sam Presti has brought some of the same core values that made the Spurs successful and applied them while building the Thunder into a contender. The teams meet in the Western Conference finals starting Sunday night in San Antonio. Presti started as a video intern for the Spurs and helped persuade the team to draft eventual All-Star point guard Tony Parker. Presti recognized the importance San Antonio placed on humility, sacrifice and a family atmosphere. He has tried to instill those standards in the Thunder as they chase their first championship.
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