Scott Brooks fired as Oklahoma City Thunder fall short

Jay Asser 14:33 23/04/2015
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Your time is up: Scott Brooks reached the playoffs in five of his seven seasons.

Scott Brooks was last night fired as head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Brooks’ seven years in Oklahoma City have been bookended by the Thunder missing the playoffs after the team came up one win short this season, losing the eighth seed in the Western Conference to a tiebreaker with the New Orleans Pelicans. 

Brooks’ roster was riddled with injuries throughout the campaign and he only had reigning MVP Kevin Durant for 27 games as the forward underwent multiple surgeries to repair a foot injury before being shut down for the season.

“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 organisation through his seven years as a valued leader and team member,” said Sam Presti, OKC executive vice president and general manager.

“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. 

“We move forward with confidence in our foundation and embrace the persistence and responsibility that is required to construct an elite and enduring basketball organisation capable of winning an NBA championship.”

The 49-year-old Brooks said last week that he expected to return, while Durant has been a vocal supporter for the coach, who he’s played under for all but one of his eight seasons in the NBA.

Durant has only one year remaining on his current contract with OKC and is set to become a highly sought-after free agent in 2016.

With Brooks at the helm, the Thunder had a .620 winning percentage and played in the conference finals three times, reaching the NBA Finals in 2012.

Possible replacements include Billy Donovan of the University of Florida and Iowa State University’s Fred Hoiberg.

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