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Spurs’ Gregg Popovich surprises Thunder GM Sam Presti at awards banquet

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich paid a surprise visit to his old friend Sam Presti at the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice’s Humanitarian Awards dinner.

Presti was being honored as the OCCJ’s 2016 Humanitarian of the Year for his commitment to diversity and inclusion within the Thunder organization.

“He’s amongst the people that have had tremendous influences on me,” Presti said, via NewsOK.com. “I think the greatest thing you can say about Pop and R.C. (Buford) is, beyond the education we got in basketball and the NBA, I think I also learned a great deal about the value of the person, holistically and the chemistry that you have to have as a group of people in order to accomplish anything.”

Popovich has cultivated great friendships during his long tenure as a coach in the NBA.

Presti’s shock at seeing his former teacher speaks about the high regard they both have for each other not only on a professional level, but on a personal level as well.

Popovich’s former protégée has done a remarkable job since he was hired the year before the Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City, although he now faces a bigger battle in the Western Conference with the departure of Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors.

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