The Oklahoma City Thunder have fired Scott Brooks as head coach. Sam Presti traveled to California to meet with Brooks and inform him of their decision.
Brooks became head coach of the Thunder in 2008 following a stint as interim head coach when P.J. Carlesimo was fired.
Brooks helped guide the Thunder to the Finals in 2012, but came under fire repeatedly in the media in recent seasons.
“This is an extremely difficult decision on many levels. Scott helped establish the identity of the Thunder and has earned his rightful place in the history of our organization through his seven years as a valued leader and team member,” said Presti. “As we all know, this past year we had unique and challenging circumstances and as I have conveyed, not many people could have accomplished what Scott and this team were able to. Therefore, it is very important to state that this decision is not a reflection of this past season, but rather an assessment of what we feel is necessary at this point in time in order to continually evolve, progress and sustain. We determined that, in order to stimulate progress and put ourselves in the best position next season and as we looked to the future, a transition of this kind was necessary for the program. We move forward with confidence in our foundation and embrace the persistence and responsibility that is required to construct an elite and enduring basketball organization capable of winning an NBA championship in Oklahoma City.”
Billy Donovan is expected to become a serious candidate to replace Brooks, while Kevin Ollie also has significant interest in the job.
Durant posted the following statement on Instagram:
"Today was tough for me. While I support our team's decision 100 percent and look forward to the upcoming season and the future in OKC, Scotty was my coach and a friend for the past 7 seasons. We accomplished a lot together, and those times will never be taken away from us. I grew as both a man and a ball player under his guidance and for that I will be forever grateful. I wish nothing but the best for him and his family who have also been such a big part of this city and organization. I know he will be very successful in wherever his next steps in life are."