Thunder makes weekly video calls, regular communication priorities during coronavirus pandemic
Sam Presti is aware of the effect having a general manager on a Zoom call between players can have. The Thunder gets together virtually every week.
“I jump on those periodically,” Presti said in a video conference call with local media Thursday. “I try not to be on them too long because it's really a great time for them to reconnect. And it's actually been one of the fun things for me during this, is to see just that banter back and forth between the guys. I try not to overstep my bounds by staying there and trying to be one of the guys because I am so far from that.”
The Thunder, like teams and people across the country, has embraced video calls as a way to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic. OKC has offered its players Zoom workouts as well, Presti said. But on Tuesday, Presti put more emphasis on the team’s regular communication.
“Without an end point,” he said, “I think you really have to be really careful about how you approach the training and things of that nature.”
Part of the Thunder's regular communication consists of reminders that the team has wellness resources available for players if they want or need them. But another part is simply combating physical isolation with technology.
“I've been absolutely just inspired by the way that our organization has come together and leaned on one another, been there for each other and checked on each other,” Presti said. “Because we're still in the midst of doing that.
“But we set a goal for ourselves, who do we want to be when we emerge from this? And I think, number one, we want to be even closer. We also will, I think, not take for granted the value of the random conversation in the hallway or the ability to have a debate over something meaningless at a lunch table. So I think you're going to get some gratitude out of this, as well.”