By Stefan Anderson
After helping the Thunder to 338 wins that included a trip to the NBA Finals, 3 conferences championship appearances and winning the NBA’s Coach of the Year honor, Scott Brooks was dismissed as the Oklahoma City play caller this afternoon.
The Thunder are now faced with a dilemma on many ends including seeking their head coach. With Russell Westbrook showing that he can be a superstar, does OKC take their chance to fight with other teams for the services of the reigning MVP Kevin Durant. More importantly, “Loud City” has to figure who is going to make their team gel and help propel that talented roster to the next level.
Here are some coach choices Oklahoma City could choose from:
The first two choices put out there is Kevin Ollie of the University of Connecticut, who played for OKC in his final years in the NBA and built a great relationship with Kevin Durant and could relate well to the roster. Also, Billy Donavan of the University of Florida, who has shown his coaching ability with his back-to-back National Championship and has flirted with the thought of the NBA for the past seasons. Donavan could be a great fit but will be a hard transition to coaching a great amount of talent those OKC possesses in a tough Western Conference.
But there are some other coaches that could make things interesting for the Thunder:
Mark Jackson: The former Golden State Warrior coach, who has now reverted back into the broadcasting, would be a great leader for OKC. Jackson instilled that culture of Golden State and brought that roster together that has now transformed into the league’s best team. The ESPN analyst could help bring the Thunder to that next level similar to what Steve Kerr did with his Warriors roster.
Stan Van Gundy: Another coach turned broadcaster, Stan Van Gundy would be ideal for OKC as he has the tough mindset that his teams have already displayed with his teams in prior years (New York Knicks and Houston Rockets). SVG could help with the progression of big men like Ibaka, Adams and Kanter, while handling a proflic scorer like Durant or Westbrook and combine the talents to make the Thunder reign supreme again.
Mike” D’Antoni: The high pace scoring and offensive guru could really fit the Thunder’s needs to offensively, imagine Russell Westbrook having the keys to D’Antoni offense, scary if you ask me. It gives Durant the space needed to score from wherever he wants offensively and helps guys like Anthony Morrow become a standout shooter and Serge Ibaka to become a ferocious finisher. OKC already plays great defense but if he had an offensive assault that D’Antoni’s offense provides that could be a hand and glove fit for them.
Other coaches that could fall in the job search would be Brian Shaw, Mike Woodson, P.J Carlesimo, Doug Collins and with the questioning of Tom Thibodeau in Chicago he could also end up in the search for OKC’s vacant spot. Regardless of who takes the position, they will inherit a team with two of the top ten players and an plenty of talent that could end up as a championship team.