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Oklahoma City Thunder and Head Coach Scott Brooks Part Ways

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Brooks took over early in the 2008 season and had a fantastic tenure with the Thunder.

Oklahoma City Thunder and Head Coach Scott Brooks Part Ways

In this article…

With his latest #WojBomb, Yahoo Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that the Oklahoma City Thunder let go head coach Scott Brooks today. The Thunder finished this season 45-37 and were eliminated from the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. In six-plus seasons with the team (Brooks took over for P.J. Carlesimo 13 games into the season in 2008-2009) Brooks finished with a regular season record of 338-207, good for a .620 winning percentage. He won the NBA Coach of the Year award in 2009-2010.

The biggest reason for Brooks's departure is likely his inability to take the Thunder to the next level in the Playoffs. They reached the NBA Finals in the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season but lost to the Miami Heat. Brooks coached his team to the Western Conference Finals three times, losing to Dallas in 2010-2011 and San Antonio in 2013-2014 and topping the Spurs in '11-'12. Brooks only missed the Playoffs twice: this season and his first.. 

You can't really blame the Thunder missing the postseason this season on Brooks. Kevin Durant played in just 27 games. Russell Westbrook missed 15 games due to injury, and Serge Ibaka missed the entire stretch run. There was rarely a point during the year when the roster was 100 per cent healthy, and that's more bad luck than anything.

Still, Brooks had limitations. His lineups and strategies were brought into question often, as were his abilities to make adjustments during games. This GIF created last year during the Western Conference Finals matchup with the Spurs and Gregg Popovich does a good job of identifying the narrative:

GIF by @KennyDucey

But every coach has shortcomings. Brooks is still a talented coach that has had great success. Sure he's had two of the league's best young players at his disposal, but you still need to coach them. Brooks will definitely get another coaching job soon, and he's already connected with a few openings.

The Thunder now are in an interesting situation. Whoever replaces Brooks will be under an immediate pressure to win right away. Kevin Durant is a free agent after the end of the season, and he was a supporter of Brooks. If things don't go well in his first year, Durant could easily walk. 

This is the first of probably many #WojBombs to come during the postseason, but it's a pretty big one.


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