The Thunder has decided to part ways with Scott Brooks after 7 years. You can't deny the fact that Scotty B had a good run, going 338-207 (62%), only missing the playoffs twice, this year being one of them. He also has led the Thunder to 3 Western Conference Finals, and a Finals apperence in 2012, losing to the Heat. With all that success, why would one want to get rid of their coach, well his resume is missing one thing; A championship.
I'm the least surprised that Scotty B was shown the door, in fact, I thought it should have happened last year after they lost to the Spurs. With the talent he has had since being in OKC, it's no reason why the Thunder should have had a couple Finals appearances and a title. Think about this, Russell Westbrook and James Harden are MVP candidates this year, and Kevin Durant won it last year. Brooks had all three of them on the same squad for three years. He did reach the Finals with them, but he couldn't make the right adjustments to win. Also James Harden played like trash which didn't help.
I have always had an issue with how Brooks coached this offense. He had two of the best scorers in the league but would only run iso plays. Where was the creativity? I also don't think he helped Russell grow as a point guard. Russell is a great player but decision making has been an issue for him, and after awhile you have to blame the coach, especially if he is a former PG himself.
And just to get this out the way, this is not a post to bash Scotty B, he did a good job but he could never get this good group of ballers over the hump. I don't blame this season on him because he had to deal with difficult circumstances, he did what he could do in a very thick Western Conference, but similar to Doug Collins with Jordan, he couldn't get over the hump.
So who will replace Scotty B? Everyone seems to think Kevin Ollie and Billy Donovan are the
top candidates. Ollie would be the best fit out of the two because he has personal experience with the team as a player, playing his final season with the Thunder in 2009-10. KD went on record saying that Ollie was a difference maker for the Thunder, helping change the culture of the team. I'm not sure if Ollie or Donavan is ready to leave the college ranks but if the money is right, I can see either one jetting to OKC.
In an ESPN article, Spurs assistant coach, Ettore Messina, was suggested as a “out-of-the-box” candidate but I think he should be the main candidate. He will be coming from a great coaching tree and he is regarded as one of the greatest Euroleague coaches ever, winning 4 Euroleague titles and 7 Italian Cups. Eurostyle basketball is very fundamental and I think that style of play could really help the Thunder, especially KD and Russell. I'm not saying Messina would take this team to the promise land but he has great resume along with being an assistant for the best coach in the NBA, he could definitely make something happen with them.