OKC Thunder Media Day: Daigneault

With the OKC Thunder 2021 Media Day finally arriving, fans can hear many new additions to the club. Of course, there are returning young stars that form the core, and head coach Mark Daigneault is back for his second season with the team.

Tomorrow, Daigneault’s men will start training camp as the bench chief prepares his team for the preseason where they will play four games.

Daigneault was one of the main topics covered by Executive Vice President Sam Presti during his preseason press briefing on Friday.

For example, the vice president said he’s excited to see Mark Daigneault this year because he understands the passion for how we are to build a team in Oklahoma City. In addition, Presti praised his coach for his great ability to develop players and for his patient approach.

Invariably, Daigneault will be at the center of all discussions when it comes to team needing to combine tanking and development. It’s a fine line that the young coach has to navigate.

During his press conference, Presti spoke about the patience required by the organization, the players and even the fans as he builds a future title contender.

“It’s one thing about our city and our community. I don’t think Oklahoma people expect things to be given to them. I don’t think they expect things to be handed to them. I’ve never really heard the people of Oklahoma talk about taking the easy route or shortening things or not putting in a hard day’s work or not earning what you get. And it’s certainly not about acting like they’re doing one thing and doing another. “The most competitive thing to do, in my opinion, is to really try to do something big and build it from scratch.”

OKC coach Thunder Daigneault praises youth and opportunity on media day

Head coach Mark Daigneault has had a lot as he returns for his second season at the helm. The following quotes are mainly courtesy of my partner Rylan Stiles who was attending the media zoom sessions featuring the coach and the team.

Daigneault had a lot to say about his young players when he first said that they had put in “intentional work” this summer. He sees a unique opportunity with this team ”we have a blank canvas staring us in the face. Said they are excited to take on this challenge and see what we can do with it. The identity of the team “is not written down at this point and it is a great opportunity.

The bench boss also spoke about how much there is a village mentality at OKC that he takes advantage of and as far as the players are concerned – “You are never on an island. It is a place where they feel safe to be who they are. Said they ban with people who have / haven’t gambled.

The coach said that although foreigners characterize the youth of the team as negative, the organization views them positively because there is a real dynamism and joy that comes with this youth. The team takes a look at the fact that they are the youngest team in the NBA and will go to work every day, take no shortcuts, and while they recognize that nothing will be easy, they embrace that fact. and wants the job to be hard to grow.

Diving into his roster, Daigneault is delighted to have great men who are capable playmakers, noting that the elite teams that are more formidable have multiple ball handlers.

The coach also spoke about the personnel changes and how they are former players.We have a variety of perspectives. We’re just trying to walk with our players. Cam, Eric, Mike who played at this level comes naturally. Even for the rest of our staff, we try to put ourselves in [the players] shoes. “

As questions turned to specific players, he had the following to offer on specific individuals:

Shai Gilgeous-Alexandre: is in perfect health and has been exercising in recent weeks looking good. Daigneault said: “I’m really excited for him with the contract extension, I’m excited for us. “

He also reiterated what Sam Presti said regarding the captain’s role and leadership, noting that SGA embodies what the Thunder are trying to build organizationally and is a testament to their high level of professionalism.

The OKC Thunder coach mentioned that the last season and a half has been spent enduring and adjusting because of the pandemic. As things turn out, this is especially helpful for a young team who haven’t been able to train as usual.

Daigneault continued to discuss the leadership of this team, citing SGA and Luguentz Dort ”Definitely Shai [has the leadership qualities] we have a saying that leadership is the person doing the right thing, they are leading at that time. We have a lot of guys who do this. Lu Dort, is a guy who helps us show our chest as a team. “

Aleksej Pokusevski: The coach spoke specifically about the program Presti referred to on Friday and offered the additional details that POKU has been working on to add strength and durability.

Derrick favors: With training camp starting tomorrow, Daigneault updated Favors who are treating his knee a bit but should attend training camp and do reps tomorrow.

Coach called Favors “pro of a pro” adding “There’s player development, but we also try to develop our program, our environment, our mentality, our behaviors, he walks the walk, these guys help us develop these team things.

In conclusion from the OKC Thunder coach – – when asked about the future of OKC Thunder, he said “on the future of the team:”We are interested in building something special. We are interested in building something that will last. “

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