Firing Scott Brooks Forces OKC Thunder to Extremes


The move that many Oklahoma City Thunder fans have been clamoring for has finally been made: Coach Scott Brooks has been fired. However, this decision by GM Sam Presti can go only one of two ways. There will be no happy medium and if it goes the wrong way, those same fans calling for Brooks’ job may be calling for Presti’s throat.

The first path is the one all Thunder fans feel is the most likely to happen. The team hires a coach who utilizes all the talent OKC has to the fullest extent and pushes it to heights Brooks had never been able to. This would be ideal but is obviously not guaranteed.

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It’s easy to point out an example such as Steve Kerr replacing Mark Jackson for the Golden State Warriors and say that the Thunder will find just as much success just as quickly. But who is OKC’s Steve Kerr? There is no clear coaching candidate who is head and shoulders above the field to lead this team to a title. At this point in the coaching search, there are too many “ifs” to confidently say the next coach is going to significantly improve the team

What Thunder fans should be worried about, is the negative impact this could have on the future of the franchise.

Kevin Ollie

, UCONN coach, seems to be the leading candidate to replace Brooks at this time.

Gone is the man who instilled a blue-collar mentality on both ends of the court. Say goodbye to the guy who developed players who were never expected to be as good as they are today such as Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson, and Steven Adams. Most importantly, gone is the one who Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Ibaka, and many others pledged their trust in and loyalty to.

What if instead of creating a new, brighter future for the Thunder franchise, Presti unintentionally destroyed that future? A franchise that continuously told its reigning MVP that they are completely committed to him, yet they terminated a coach who he loved and fully supported.

According to Anthony Slater of that is not the case, as Durant pledged his support to the decision:

As KD has always proved to be a man of his word, I don’t see any reason to disbelieve that he supports what Presti is doing. But other players may not feel the same.

In an interview from less than a week ago, Serge Ibaka flat out asked of Brooks, “Why would you fire him?” In a separate article written by Darnell Mayberry of The OklahomanWestbrook gave Brooks a vote of confidence, saying, “He did a great job. I don’t think he gets enough credit for what he does behind the scenes.”

It’s hard for these players to see their beloved coach AND friend get fired after a season that was as plagued as this one was for Oklahoma City.

On paper, yes, many candidates seem to be an upgrade over Brooks when it comes to schemes and play-calling. But that means nothing if these star players bolt to other places because they feel like their franchise lacks loyalty.

“I don’t think he gets enough credit for what he does behind the scenes”- Russell Westbrook on Scott Brooks

Don’t get me wrong, I believe it was time for Brooks to go so that the Thunder could finally find someone who would create a structured system and hold the stars accountable for their mistakes. As much as I want to say this decision will be nothing but positive, it is definitely a high-risk move.

This is a move that is ending the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise as we know it. Whether that means a title or the disintegration of a franchise that will be remembered by the words “What if?” remains to be seen.