Thunder fire coach Scott Brooks


VIDEO: Thunder fire Scott Brooks

NBA.com staff reports

After seven seasons on the job, a trip to The Finals in 2012 and 338 wins, the Oklahoma City Thunder have fired coach Scott Brooks.

The news was first reported by Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski and it was later confirmed by the team in a press release.

The team issued the following statement, saying a search for a new coach will begin immediately:

“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 Sam Presti, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager. “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.”

Brooks was named head coach of the Thunder on April 15, 2009 after serving as interim head coach during the 2008-09 campaign. Over the course of the last seven seasons, Brooks accumulated a 338-207 (.620) record with the Thunder and was named the 2009-10 NBA Coach of the Year. An NBA veteran of over 24 years as a head coach, assistant and player, Brooks helped guide the Thunder to three appearances in the Western Conference Finals (2011, 2012, 2014), and a trip to the 2012 NBA Finals.

“We have a deep appreciation for all that Scott has contributed to the Thunder organization over the last seven years,” said Clayton I. Bennett, Thunder Chairman. “He helped us build the foundation of this team and led us to much success. While a very hard decision, I support the need to transition to a new coach that will allow us to continue the growth and progress that will help us reach all of our goals. We wish Scott and his family only the best as he moves forward.”

The Thunder will initiate the search for a new head coach immediately.

Former Thunder point guard and current Connecticut Huskies coach Kevin Ollie had been rumored as a possible name on OKC’s wish list, but Ollie told the Associated Press he had no plans of leaving UConn:

UConn basketball coach Kevin Ollie says he has no plans to leave his job.

The 42-year-old Ollie, who spent 13 years as an NBA journeyman before returning to his alma mater, has been linked to several NBA job openings since leading the Huskies to the 2014 NCAA championship.

This week, several media outlets reported that Ollie is a leading candidate to replace Scott Brooks in Oklahoma City.

Ollie issued a statement Wednesday morning saying he is proud and honored to be UConn’s coach, is excited about next season and and, “I have no plans to pursue other opportunities.”

Ollie signed a $15 million, five-year contract with UConn last May.

Wojnarowski reports that Florida Gators coach Billy Donovan is expected to be the favorite to assume Brooks’ post.

29 Comments

  1. OverseasNBAfan says:

    Couldn’t see them progressing much further with Brooks he did a great job of developing their young talent and the players really liked him, maybe to much.. This reminds me a lot of GSW decision to fire Jackson last off-season (bad offensive system).
    This was a good decision and it’s not just based off 1 bad season like some OKC fans here think.. he has almost ZERO offensive system/strategy and control at that end of the floor, not much ball and player movement, just stagnate, hero ball really.

    KD and Russ (more so Westbrook) need an experienced coach they will respect but also be hard on them at times and not a push over all the time, someone who knows how to reign players into the team system when it gets out of hand. This team needs a coach like that to take them to the next level.

    Their main problem now is who do they have lined up replacing him that will bring better system?

  2. toby says:

    It was 3 days ago when i mentioned that Brook need to go and bam there it is. The next person that needs to go is ball hog WB. Until he leave, there will be no team movement, no team chemistry and no playoff…..

  3. LaulaD says:

    Wrong and very wrong call OKC management. However, as someone mentioned, if RW and KD wished for him to be their coach going forward, he would not have been fired; but in any case, very wrong and poor decision. I think the Manager and his team should go as well!!

  4. kenny says:

    them waiting to long to get rid of Perkins and spend the money it takes to be a true contender is the reason there done as a contender

  5. peteMcKz says:

    Not the beginning of the end. End of the beginning. Roll on 2016!!

  6. GoLA says:

    Brooks was not the problem of OKC, its Westbrook and a lot of key players being unsigned and signed. I wonder if the Lakers would have hired him if it was the right time.

  7. pljordan says:

    Well first of all it will be hard to think of the Thunder playing and not see Scottie sitting over there running the show!
    I know and understand that the team wants to head into another direction, but did anyone tell Scottie just what that direction was?
    Was the front just that sure Scottie couldn’t get it done? Now I’ve been a very loyal fan of the Thunder, and I Strongly suspect just maybe powers to be maybe looking for someone who can corral. They didn’t themselves want to do anything that would suggest them making a move, and not that they want him gone, but just playing a bit more under control and willing to be when on offense, understand their’s four other teammates. I think as a coach Brooks failed in that area, being able to covey this to a very talented basketball player and it cost him his job!

  8. Lovins says:

    I never thought Brooks was a very good coach, the way he substituted players and how he let KD and RW just take turns going 1 on 5 in the last 4 mins of playoff games. He was clearly never going to get RW to play disciplined enough to truly contend for a title. But at the same time, I don’t know why they expect some college coach will be any more successful.

  9. Agustin Lopez says:

    Wrong call OKC executives, you could be taking a change to the wrong direction.

  10. LemW says:

    Oklahoma City firing Scott Brooks a poor decision.
    Scott Brooks winning track record; the track record is now only hope.
    Oklahoma City basketball players are basketball players not a basketball coach.
    Sam Presti is politically correct with Scott Brook praise.
    Nevertheless, in truth the real reason for Scott Brooks dismissal is unknown.

  11. Russ and Rondo says:

    Russell and Rondo will join Kobe and J Randel in LA as the Lakers continue to bring more elite players on their team now that they have free up their bank account. It’ll be another Mega team with 2 super star PGs.

  12. Kedrick says:

    So is he essentially taking the fall for one difficult season that saw OKC’s star players injured for long stretches of time? A season that saw two trades upset team chemistry (Waiters acquisition and Kanter acquisition)? Maybe management has different reasons to move on, but on the surface it seems as crazy as the Sacramento Kings firing Malone when Boogie Cousins was on the inactive list.

  13. LoganC says:

    @DBgames You don’t know what the hell you are talking about, so please just be quiet.

    This will possibly be the downfall of OKC

  14. lino says:

    looks like thunder management is following denver mcnuggets management lead. maybe presti could ask denver how things have worked out since firing karl. or, maybe presti could hire westbrook as player/ballhog/coach.

  15. Tony C says:

    In my opinion… Bad decision. You can’t win every year without your best players.

  16. Sharon says:

    Dumb move! The man had half a team for 2 straight seasons….he deserved at least 1 more season. Hope Durant and Westbrook both go to other teams next year so I can stop watching this team all together (Ibaka also)

  17. Thomas Maher says:

    Well, emotionally I feel a bit sad… It’s tough to see a coach part ways with a team that he helped build (especially a young)

    Brooks was a great guy and everyone will be sad to see him leave.

    With that being said, and emotions said aside… Brooks had much to improve upon, although Russ was great – there was no structure to the games… It was give the ball to Russ and get out of the way. I guarantee you, if Popovich, Jackson, coach Bud (or any elite coach for that matter) would have had this team with KD down, there would have been structure.

    That is Scotty’s problem.. STRUCTURE – No one sees it out on the court, all I ever saw was a bunch of guys ball hogging and not playing as a true team.

    Hopefully the next coach they get will be HARD on Russ and KD, cause as great as they are – they can sometimes hurt the players around them….

    Great players make everyone around you better.

  18. Chris says:

    Better think long and hard on this one. If they screw up and hire a coach not good for the job, they could end up losing Durant next year.

  19. Ted says:

    If KD and Russ wanted Brooks as their coach going forward he would not have been fired.

  20. dbgames4108 says:

    This is the beginning of the end of OKC. See you in DC, KD. Russ will be in LA in case anyone needs him.