The Oklahoma City Thunder have decided to part ways with Scott Brooks, their much-criticized head coach(/Breckin Meyer look-alike) of seven years who, when not cursed with injuries to his top players, was often over-matched by his bench counterparts.
Oklahoma City has fired coach Scott Brooks, league source tells Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) April 22, 2015
The move comes at a crucial point for the Thunder franchise, as Kevin Durant has one year remaining on his contract before becoming a free agent next July. Not only that, Russell Westbrook becomes a free agent the following year, meaning the window to do something (Finals appearance, NBA championship) is closing fast. The Thunder released a statement indicating the decision was not a result of the Thunder’s failure to make the playoffs this season (due to those aforementioned injuries):
“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.”
The two names being tossed around as replacements are Kevin Ollie, the current Connecticut head coach who played with Durant in OKC for a brief time, and Florida head coach Billy Donovan, who has already spurned the NBA once. Brooks’ name is already being tossed around for a couple other head coaching gigs, presumably by teams that never actually watched him coach professional basketball.
[NBA.com, photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images]