Kevin Ollie: "No Plans To Pursue Other Opportunities."
By Randy Renner
The supposed next coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder apparently won't be in that job next season (or next week) after all.
The University of Connecticut sent out a statement from basketball coach Kevin Ollie Wednesday morning. Ollie has been at the center of rumors and reports indicating Thunder GM Sam Presti had been speaking to him about taking over for Scott Brooks as head coach of the Thunder. Ollie played for Brooks as a member of the Thunder during the 2009-10 season.
While Presti has remained mum on the subject, Ollie has thrown water on the fire with this statement:
"As I have said many times, I am proud and honored to be the head basketball coach at the University of Connecticut and I have no plans to pursue other opportunities. We are already excited about next season and I am looking forward to preparing our team to be the best we can on the court, in the classroom and in our community."
Of course we've all heard coaches say they're not interested in leaving one place to go to another. Nick Saban famously announcing he wouldn't leave the Miami Dolphins for Alabama one day and showing up in Tuscaloosa the next immediately comes to mind, but I tend to believe Ollie on this one.
What this does for Brooks' job security isn't clear. Billy Donovan's name was also mentioned in the original report last week that started all this speculating. Donovan is a good friend of Presti's and was very involved in getting former assistant Mark Daigneault the job as coach of the Thunder's D-League team, the OKC Blue.
Donovan has also won a couple of national championships at the University of Florida. And if Presti is dead set on letting Brooks go and bring in someone else there would certainly be no shortage of candidates for what would be one of the most attractive jobs in the NBA.
Presti is still scheduled to have his regular end of the season news conference on Friday morning, about a week later than it usually is.
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