The Spurs step onto the Western Conference Finals stage Sunday night feeling a little like Dr. Frankenstein.

The Spurs helped create the monster that wants to devour them.

From Sam Presti’s roots in San Antonio to the civic-minded ownership group of both franchises; from the lottery luck of Tim Duncan and Kevin Durant to the international draft success of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Serge Ibaka; from the fiscal responsibility demanded of a small market to a left-handed sixth man magician, the Thunder mirrors the Spurs in so many ways.

But consider the blueprint a partial payment for services rendered. Long before the NBA was anything but a gleam in Oklahoma City’s eye, OKC helped the Spurs become the stately Spurs.

Thunder chairman Clay Bennett sits on the NBA board of governors. The Thunder is not his first NBA rodeo.

– Reported by Berry Tramel of the San Antonio Express-News