Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

August 12, 2013

Bennett reflects on bringing Thunder to OKC

OKLAHOMA CITY — The saying goes “One can judge a man by the company he keeps.” That gem of a quote is credited to Euripides, 480 B.C. Yet, it could just as easily apply to Oklahoma City Thunder chairman Clay Bennett.

Since bringing an NBA franchise to his home town, the Oklahoma City native has stayed pretty much in the shadows, letting general manager Sam Presti be the public face of the organization.

However, the business mogul and civic leader gave Oklahomans a rare glimpse into his personal life when he was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. What stood out to them most about his induction was who he chose to present him. He went with NBA legend Bill Russell.

Bennett didn’t choose the Hall of Fame center just to show off. He did it for the simplest of reasons. Russell is a friend.

“I have had a very nice relationship with Bill,” Bennett said. “I thought it might be fun to bring him to Oklahoma and let others hear and enjoy him as I have. He was very gracious to accept. I am honored he would be here.”

Russell is one of the most respected and admired athletes to ever come through the NBA. He is known as a man who chooses his friends carefully.

“I am proud to say that Clay is a friend of mine,” Russell said. “The friendship is based on the fact that when we think about each other, we never think about what he can do for me, but what I can do for him, and if I am able to do anything for him. That’s the way friendships are built.”

Building friendships and relationships has been key to Bennett’s success since he brought the Thunder to Oklahoma in 2008. They are the same characteristics he asks of his players in dealing with the community that has adopted them.

Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0111web.jpg ‘Team behind the Team’

    For the second-straight year, the Claremore Zebra student training staff will be represented in the Oklahoma Coaches All-State games held in Tulsa.
    Meranda Golbek and Sarah Szcinski, a pair of 2014 Claremore High School graduates, earned All-State honors for their athletic training careers and will join two other student trainers from Jenks and Stillwater High School on the East squad.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • MLB: Yankees cruise to 6th win in last 7 games

    Brandon McCarthy threw six more solid innings, fellow newcomer Chase Headley delivered another timely hit and the New York Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 4-2 Thursday for their sixth win in seven games.

    July 24, 2014

  • OU men's basketball honored for academic excellence

    The University of Oklahoma men's basketball program was recognized by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Wednesday with the organization's Team Academic Excellence Award.

    July 24, 2014

  • Tulsa begins new era in American Athletic Conference

    Not entirely unlike the nation that provides its namesake, the American Athletic Conference was born from an ideal in which members with ambitious goals are provided with the means to succeed in their quests for excellence.
     
    After nine seasons as a member of Conference USA, The University of Tulsa’s begins its’ membership in the American Athletic Conference today –– July 1, 2014.

    July 24, 2014

  • 2 Texas football players charged with sexual assault

    Two University of Texas football players were arrested and charged Thursday with felony sexual assault after a female student said she was raped in a campus dorm room last month.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mack Brown to serve as ABC College Football analyst

    Former Texas coach Mack Brown will serve as a studio analyst for college football games on ABC.

    Brown stepped down in December after 16 years with the Longhorns, winning the national title after the 2005 season.

    July 24, 2014

  • Auburn QB Marshall pays fine for marijuana

    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.

    July 24, 2014

  • NBA: Mavericks cut Rashard Lewis, add Aminu

    The Dallas Mavericks have reached a deal with free-agent forward Al-Farouq Aminu after scrapping a contract with Rashard Lewis because of a knee problem.

    July 24, 2014

  • NBA: T-Wolves weighing options with Kevin Love

    The summer of LeBron has quickly turned into the summer of Love. When it ends is anybody's guess.

    The Minnesota Timberwolves are weighing their options when it comes to trading All-Star Kevin Love, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls both trying to land the versatile forward. But any talks are complicated by an NBA rule that requires a 30-day waiting period to trade any rookie that signs his contract.

    July 24, 2014