Tough Day In OKC, Brooks Fired As Head Coach
By Addam Francisco
“This is an extremely difficult decision on many levels. Scott helped establish the identity of the Thunder and has earned his rightful place in the history of our organization through his seven years as a valued leader and team member,”said General Manager Sam Presti, “As we all know, this past year we had unique and challenging circumstances and as I have conveyed, not many people could have accomplished what Scott and this team were able to. Therefore, it is very important to state that this decision is not a reflection of this past season, but rather an assessment of what we feel is necessary at this point in time in order to continually evolve, progress and sustain. We determined that, in order to stimulate progress and put ourselves in the best position next season and as we looked to the future, a transition of this kind was necessary for the program. We move forward with confidence in our foundation and embrace the persistence and responsibility that is required to construct an elite and enduring basketball organization capable of winning an NBA championship in Oklahoma City.”
As many may know, Coach Scott Brooks has been dismissed as coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder after speculations and rumors spread across the NBA over the past week. Sam Presti in his press conference Wednesday night said that he personally flew to Los Angeles to inform Brooks that he was indeed fired. Many people are happy about this move, many are not but personally I think it was a smart move for the Thunder, looking towards the future.
Many are upset about him being fired after he led the Thunder to five playoff appearances in his seven years as head coach of the Thunder. However I see it in a different way and I stand by Presti’s decision. OKC should be able to make it to the playoffs with ease just based off pure talent. We have two of the best scorers in the world on one team, one of the best post players in the league and probably the best bench in the league. This team is built to go deep into the playoff just based off that. We need someone who will be able to take us to the next level and that "next level," is a championship. There’s been many instances in the past seven seasons where Scott looked confused and scared when an opposing team would change their lineup and throw a curve ball our way. He is known for “sticking to his lineup,” even when it was obvious he needed to change who was in the game. There were also instances where he would say something to Russell or Kevin and they would look at him and roll their eyes, or do what they wanted to do anyway, despite what was said by coach. Kevin Durant was seen standing up on the bench coaching, while Coach Brooks sat down on the bench. It was all a bit unorthodox for an NBA team and from the time I saw that on, I knew there may be a coaching change at the end of the season.
The Thunder need a coach who is everything Scott Brooks was, but can be assertive and put his players in their place when they need to be, no matter who they are. Someone who can make in-game changes and think on their feet. Most of all, a coach who may be a deciding factor in keeping both KD and Russ. Theres been rumors about both Kevin Ollie and Billy Donovan, both coaches at the collegiate level who could make a huge impact in the NBA. Ollie played in OKC with Kevin, but Ollie claims that he doesn’t plan to make any moves away from his University of Connecticut squad even though there’s been reports that he’s talked to Presti a few times in the past couple of weeks. University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan seems to be the top candidate for the job here recently. He has ties to the Thunder organization somewhat, after referring his old assistant Mark Daigneault as head coach for the Thunder’s D-League affiliate the OKC Blue.
This next week will be interesting, as Sam Presti has a lot on his plate, having to find a new head coach and with the NBA draft coming up soon.