The OKC Thunder head coach hits a milestone today as he celebrates his 55th birthday.
As the NBA nears a decision on return the OKC Thunder players and staff now have a target date of July 31st for when the league expects to return. Players who had left the market to ride out the stay at home orders are either back or on their way back to Oklahoma City.
With the restrictions softened players can enter the Thunder Ion practice facility to take shots and get in workouts. As for the coaching staff they’be been occupied by keeping in touch with the players on a regular basis and but are unable to attend workout sessions.
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In terms of head coaches while the situation is far from normal they can capitalize on this off court time to pour over film and prepare for when games do resume. Billy Donovan, no doubt has been doing precisely that. But, until he knows the specific format the NBA will take the list of teams he’ll need to focus on is fairly large.
Once the format is approved this coming Thursday that list should significantly shorten. Let’s hope it doesn’t include the group round-robin format as that would pose the worst-case scenario for Donovan’s squad.
Suffice to say life hasn’t been usual for any of us during this pandemic. Typical events are taking place at home instead of in group settings like students graduating and celebrating their achievements at home. Anniversaries and special personal dates are also having to take place at home such as birthdays.
Today, Billy Donovan is one of many who are celebrating as he turns 55 and has much to be thankful for. It’s the bench bosses fifth season at the helm in OKC and some could argue his most effective season yet.
Notably, he’s introduced more of his renowned offense from his NCAA days of success. In particular, the trio of point guards being utilized in the clutch time segments of games is causing fits for the opposition and landed Donovan squarely in the middle of the Coach of the Year conversations.
Earlier this year the Florida Gators dedicated Exactech Arena ‘Billy Donovan Court’. The coach spent 19 seasons with Florida amassing 16 winning seasons and led his team to back to back titles in 2006 and 2007.
In the final season of his contract, many are wondering why Sam Presti hasn’t extended it, but if Donovan keeps getting the young crew to perform he could be celebrating a new contract after this season.
Wishing Billy D a happy 55th and thank you for the exciting brand of OKC Thunder basketball you’ve brought to the hardcourt this season.