Oklahoma City Thunder Assistant General Manager Troy Weaver is one of the rising stars in the front office ranks. For those who don’t know, Troy is the man credited for recruiting Carmelo Anthony to Syracuse for that one year National Championship run.
MT: Troy, how’s your relationship with General Manager and Executive VP, Sam Presti?
TW: “It’s been nice. He comes from a great organization in the Spurs. He was able to see firsthand how it was to build a winner and experience winning. He has a wealth of information and knowledge. I’ve been able to work with him and gather some of that myself and help this team move forward. I was at Utah and hopefully through the collaboration of those two franchises, hopefully push forward at Oklahoma City.”
MT: Day to day operations. What would your typical day entail from start to finish?
TW: “Shoot to the office and make sure everybody is healthy. Make sure everybody is organized for practice. After that just doing administrative things…responding to emails…responsibilities with players…whatever the league is handing down…reading stories on guys…checking players box scores…doing draft research.
MT: From an administrative end, talk about the transition from Seattle to Oklahoma City.
TW: “Just making sure everyone got to OKC physically. Getting the actual building in order so we have somewhere to practice and work out of so we could do our job and also the players.”
MT: Building a young team in terms of challenges, advantages and disadvantages.
TW: “You have to be patient and that’s a challenge with young players in any pro sport. No one wants to be patient and watch young guys develop. Most teams want to go for the quick fix. The biggest challenge is catching the players on the highs and making sure we are there for them on the lows. As long as the guys are moving forward, I see it all as a positive.”
“The negative is the losing. You don’t want that to seep in and start to develop a losing mentality. You can see these guys fight every night. That’s a good way to build a team because there is individual commitment involved for the betterment of the organization.”
MT: A good indicator is seeing how the guys interact in the lay up line. Your team seems to be very loose and having fun. That’s good to see.
Your path through basketball. Played in college one year. Where did you see it going subsequently?
TW: “Well…I always knew I wanted to be a coach-even when I was in high school. I love coaching and working with young people. I knew I wasn’t going to be a pro, so just turned my energies into coaching local boys and girls clubs. It took off after that and ended up coaching at the University of Pittsburgh. Had a great ride at Pittsburgh. Then I went to Syracuse which landed me here in the NBA by way of Utah. I’m very fortunate to be working with the right people and also be on the right track.”
MT: What is your goal?
TW: “To be a general manager. I want to see if the experiences and ideas I have can mesh with a staff, a team on the floor and see if it will work. I like team building. That would be an awesome challenge for me”
MT: There are thousands of assistant coaches. How do you get noticed?
TW: “I always believe you will get noticed by doing a good job wherever you are. A lot of guys like to politic and go out and meet everybody. I just believe the job I have is the best job. If I can do the best job there, that will open up other doors. I wanted to be the best coach I could at Syracuse, New Mexico and Pittsburgh. That afforded me some other opportunities.”
MT: Carmelo Anthony. How did you find him?
TW: “I had some friend s back in Baltimore that coached him at a young age telling me about him. Then when I was at New Mexico I recruited a kid that was at the same high school but a couple of years older. I was able to see him from ninth grade on. When I moved over to Syracuse, he was the primary focus. It was good having people in the DC area that could help.”
MT: What was so special about him early on? Was it his talent, strength or size?
TW: “Early on it was just his basketball talent. He wasn’t that big and strong when I first saw him, but he had a great court presence. He had a great way of playing with his teammates and raising the level of his and his teammate’s play that I thought really made him a special player.”
MT: What is DC’s signature?
TW: “DC’s signature is guys for the most part who are looking to play the game the right way. When you look at the great players from DC, they’ve been guys who can do a lot of different things. You have three guys in the Hall of Fame: Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing and Adrian Dantley. Those guys were well rounded players. If you get a guy from that area, for the most part, he’ll look to do a lot of things. Look at the young guys we have here, Jeff Green and Kevin Durant, they are well rounded players. Some areas might have great athletes, some might have great ball handlers, but in DC you have guys who can play a complete game.”