Blogtable: Thunder coach’s to-do list?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: Cavs in trouble? | Next moves for OKC’s next coach? | No more Hack-a-Shaq?



VIDEOSir Charles was not a fan of the Thunder firing Scott Brooks

> If you were named coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, what would be atop your “to-do list” your first day on the job?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: I’d pull Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook aside immediately after my introductory press conference to thank them. There’s no way a new coach gets hired there without the team’s two stars signing off on it – it probably is a top priority to have them on board, rather than just hold veto power, over Scott Brooks‘ replacement. Then I’d consult with them on their favorite plays, their preferred practice schedule, their desired minutes vs. rest workload and what their favorite meals are to have aboard our chartered flights. Would that be weenie, letting two players dictate so many team decisions? Not if I want to stay employed as coach and fear the leverage Durant and Westbrook wield with their upcoming free-agency decisions. Such is the power dynamic in the NBA these days.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comAfter I’m finished having an All-Star level suck-up session with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, I’m installing an offense that gets more ball movement and relies far less on both of those guys to make hero shots at the end of every shot clock and game.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Find out what Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are doing that same day. Pick up the phone, arrange a video conference, fax, singing telegram — whatever. I find out how their schedules look and how soon we can visit in person. (Which is probably exactly what will happen, with a lot of the Thunder roster, not just the two stars.)

Shaun Powell, NBA.com: I take Kevin Durant to dinner and exchange ideas. That’s a no brainer. Next season will be all about keeping him happy and appreciated and in the loop and engaged. If I can successfully sell Durant on my vision and blueprint for winning a title, then I’ve done my part in keeping him in OKC in the summer of 2016.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: I’d call Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook and schedule a day to spend with each of them. I’d ask Sam Presti to trade Dion Waiters. I’d try to figure out if free agent Enes Kanter can help me offensively more than he hurts me defensively. And I’d start making calls in an effort to put together a good staff.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: I’d need an immediate sit down with my two biggest stars, so we can figure out a happy medium for them in terms of how they co-exist now and in the future. It’s not that the rest of the guys don’t matter, but I need to know where the dynamic stands between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and what exactly I’m working with as their coach. It looks one way from a distance, but could be totally different inside that bubble. We all need to be on one accord about who and what we are, in every sense of that phrase, if we’re going to climb back into the thick of things at the top of the standings in the Western Conference and the league. So there’s no sense in wasting any time talking about anything else.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.com: First of all, I would recognize that Scott Brooks is an excellent coach who probably tried everything I am going to consider. My priority would be to improve their passing game, enabling  the ball to move from side to side in the half court. I would ask Russell Westbrook to make quicker decisions, and also try to help Mitch McGary become a better defender so that he can spend more time in the game – because he could give the Thunder a crucial passer from the high post.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blogMaking sure I had a long-term contract? Going to breakfast with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and making sure they were both committed long-term to continuing to build something there?  No matter who they hire, whether it’s Billy Donovan or whomever, all eyes will be on next summer, when Durant can become a free agent, and the incredibly small window there for the new coach to make something happen. Whether or not it’s a real or imagined pressure, it’s pressure nonetheless and something annoying the new coach will have to deal with. And if these aren’t the things the new coach deals with on his first day, the other thing I’d do is I’d sit down and design an offense that made life easier on all the players involved. What better way to get people to stay?

15 Comments

  1. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    It doesn’t matter who coach’s, if Durant, Westbrook, and Ibaka are healthy, 50 wins or more and a deep playoff run. So it doesn’t matter who coach’s there going to look great, Who was Scott Brooks before he got the job ?

  2. Isaiah says:

    they all got it wrong the first thing anybody should be worried about is the 2016 free agents because kevin durant is going to be a free agent and i would personally see before then if in fact he is testing the waters as a free agent or going to be a stain in okc history because he is one of their key scorers in their offensive breakdown but that doesn’t mean the new coach should not look to glue Mitch Mcgary and Dion Waiters into their offense more not just when KD and Russel aren’t on the court and i would really like to see them going shopping for a better bench especially at the 2-gaurd because Anthony Morrow and Jeremy Lamb just aren’t cutting it for me because to be straight up it wouldn’t kill Russel or okc if Jeremy plays a little at point

  3. AI says:

    Durant and Westbrook cannot co-exist.
    You need to build a system around one of them. Just playing Iso games based on these two won’t get you too far anymore.

  4. Eric Cadoree says:

    What ya’ll have to do is put yourself in Kevin Durant shoes and say to yourself ” I want to win and I want a ring. Can i get that with OKC?”

  5. Heat says:

    go to miami lol BOSH, WADE, DRAGIC,DURANT,AND I WISH THEY WOULD GET DWIGHT HAWARD

  6. Artem says:

    The only move I consider being crucial is the first place is to trade Dion Waiters

  7. Matteo says:

    1. discuss with the two stars what can be improved on Brooks plays
    2. try to involve more players in the game
    3. not hurt KD and RW, not SI
    4 try to get a reliable and productive shooting guard
    5. continue on the Team vision, defence and teamworking above all

  8. dumbarticle says:

    Because NBA.COM bloggers are qualified to make coaching decisions…

  9. Gillsy says:

    They need someone who can control the ball. They could do a sign and trade with Waiters and another player for Rondo and Move Westbrook to the 2. That way Durant and Westbrook will have shots set up for them on a platter. Hopefully they can get another defensive big man in the draft.

  10. Will Lee says:

    I will invite them to dinner, and then ask James Harden to show up as a secret guest

  11. DenBigz says:

    MR. MVP join to the heat!!!

  12. kenny says:

    don’t worry KD will be leaving for Washington after next year and I don’t blame him

  13. dgt2 says:

    I would fire the two stars n rebuild.