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Good Saturday. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. Single tear.
A well done tribute to Scott Brooks’ time in Oklahoma City by Carson Cunningham. Sniff.
It took more than half an hour for Sam Presti to say anything truly illuminating during his news conference Wednesday to discuss firing Scott Brooks. And it came during an answer to a question about Enes Kanter.
Presti spoke of making personnel changes before the trade deadline in the context of the new television money “striking” the system, which is causing the salary cap to skyrocket. That single word — or really the root of that word, strike — said more about why Presti is doing what he’s doing than anything else he’s said publicly since the start of the season.
The massive wave of money is crashing into the NBA salary management landscape like a tsunami. It’s a violent, sudden and disruptive change. The landscape will look completely different during and after the tsunami strikes the system. Keep Reading…
Brett Koremenos of Sports on Earth makes a case for D’Antoni: “The minutes issue, however, is a real problem. I don’t have an answer for that one other than to suggest that maybe watching Pop do his thing with the Spurs changed D’Antoni’s mindset. But if he hasn’t, you can at least count on the Thunder being awesome until half the team is out injured by mid-February, something that would bring horrible flashbacks to this lost season for the Thunder. If you’re looking for the guy who will help the Thunder achieve that elusive Finals victory, there may be better options (starting with Alvin Gentry) than MDA. But if you want a potent cocktail of success, off-the-court drama and pure on-court entertainment, D’Antoni is the man for the job. Let’s hope the Thunder feel the same way.”
Berry Tramel: “Of course, silly is the idea that Thunder leadership is cold-hearted and anti-community. Few people in Oklahoma City’s history have moved to town and immersed themselves like Sam Presti. The players and Brooks all live elsewhere in the off-season. Not Presti. He’s on every civic board, at every charity event. Presti will succeed Lee Allan Smith as Mr. Oklahoma City. And chairman Clay Bennett? He’s the reason we have a franchise in OKC. If we had a mountain and wanted to mimic Rushmore, Bennett’s face would be on it. But Presti and Bennett don’t play. They don’t jump off the bench to implore the guys to play defense or celebrate a great shot. Fans don’t feel like they know the decision-makers the way they feel they know Brooks and his ballplayers.” Keep Reading…
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Ben Golliver of SI.com: “The problem for Presti, though, is that this move also conveys upon him all of the risk should the coaching change backfire. Yes, he’s avoided the possibility of scrambling to fire his coach, a la Cleveland in 2010. Yes, he’s set up the possibility that the arrival of a Billy Donovan or Kevin Ollie could produce a Steve Kerr-esque breakthrough. But he’s also made himself the obvious target if things go wrong. What happens if Durant and Westbrook struggle to adapt to a new offensive system? What happens if the next system can’t strike the right balance between the two scoring champions? What happens if their bond with their next coach isn’t as strong as it was with Brooks? What happens if the Thunder draws a horrible first-round matchup, like the Clippers and Spurs this year, and are eliminated quickly? Will Durant wonder if “the old way” was given a fair shot?”
Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider: “So if not because of the 2014-15 season, why replace Brooks now? The answer surely lies in Durant’s foray into unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2016, some 14-plus months away. After years of conservatively managing their assets with an eye toward the long term, the Thunder have adopted a more aggressive posture in the past year. From the outside, it appears Presti is attempting to win with Durant on the roster and leverage those results to convince Durant to re-sign for the long term.” Keep Reading…
Sam Presti met with the media tonight to discuss the decision to “part ways” — also known as firing — with Scott Brooks.
He talked for almost 40 minutes, using his always impressive vocabulary, even digging so deep to throw out “intrinsic,” “organizational arch,” and “Socratic.” Big time night for Presti.
Here are the notable quotes: Keep Reading…
For the first time in seven years, the Thunder will have a new coach next season. Scott Brooks has been let go, and the Thunder are now in a position to go find a new voice to lead them into what’s their most important season yet.
After the Thunder walked off the floor in Minnesota last week, it seemed like there was no chance this would happen. But the momentum has been building the past few days, with it finally snowballing to the point of Brooks officially being fired today. It comes as a surprise, if only in the sense Brooks seemed likely to be given grace for this past season. Instead, the Thunder are using it as a chance to move in another direction.
Here are five thoughts about it all: Keep Reading…