Thunder general manager Sam Presti and head coach Billy Donovan have received death threats after trading away Paul George and Russell Westbrook, according to KOCO 5 News in Oklahoma City, which cited court documents.
Presti and Donovan received threatening voice messages from an angry fan, who said he wanted to kill the GM and coach and he threatened both of their families. The suspect also used a bomb reference as he said he wants to “blow things up.”
“Y’all traded Paul George but kept Raymond Felton. You kept Andre Roberson. Do y’all not love Russell Westbrook?” reads a transcript of one of the voicemails. “I hope he kill everybody. I want to kill everybody.”
The Thunder responded to the issue, saying: “We defer to the authorities and they can handle the situation as they see fit.”
FROM THUNDER: “We defer to the authorities and they can handle the situation as they see fit.” https://t.co/7j8vvzcETJ
— Abigail Ogle (@KOCOAbigail) July 18, 2019
Police are continuing to investigate and have a search warrant to investigate where the call originated and the cellphone that was used to make the calls. Court documents revealed that the man said he’s from Virginia, and doesn’t care if he’s reported to the police.
The reported threats come after Oklahoma City shifted toward a rebuild this offseason sending George to the Clippers for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, five first-round draft picks and the rights to first-round pick swaps in 2023 and 2025.
In another blockbuster move, the Thunder traded Westbrook to the Rockets and received Chris Paul, two first-round picks and the rights to first-round pick swaps in 2021 and 2025.
Oklahoma City made the playoffs nine of the last 10 seasons, but were eliminated in the first round each of the last three years. The Thunder had hoped to win a championship in the near future, but it likely will take some time as the franchise rebuilds.