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Thunder, coach Scott Brooks still fighting over new contract

Jun 22, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

Scott Brooks AP

The NBA finals were not Scott Brooks finest hour. He lived with players that were struggling — Kendrick Perkins — while leaving players impacting the game more on the bench. He didn’t stick with his rotations. Perkins even called him out.

But Brooks is part of the family, the young coach that has grown up with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. They are not going to let him go, right? Right?

Not so fast, warns Marc Stein at ESPN. The two sides have been talking for months now and there is no deal in place.

Scotty Brooks’ contract as OKC coach ends when June ends. The widespread assumption persists that Brooks and the Thunder will hammer out a new deal now that they no longer have a deep playoff run to manage, but sources close to the process continue to caution that A) extension talks have been slow-moving for weeks now and B) concern is rising within the organization that the sides are not nearly as destined to reach an agreement as everyone else around the league presumes.

Sources told this week that the Thunder have offered Brooks an annual salary “north of $4 million.” But those same sources maintain that the length of the deal is the primary holdup. Brooks is said to be seeking a guaranteed four-year deal; sources say OKC prefers a two- or three-year deal.

For all his flaws, he is a guy who just coached a young team all the way to the NBA finals. He’s a guy that made adjustment in the conference finals that Gregg Popovich couldn’t match. He’s a guy Durant and Westbrook like and trust. Keeping him seems a no-brainer.

Are you going to try and introduce a new coach, a new system, a new everything on a team that just went to the NBA finals? It’s hard to imagine a deal not getting done.

But it’s out there. Stranger things have happened. And the Thunder have already started to formulate a Plan B, just in case.

  1. pastortodd78 - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    I fully expect Brooks to be resigned in a matter of days not weeks. However I just wanted to throw this out there for fun…

    What if OKC is the one time Phil Jackson wants to coach. Maybe the thought of working with Durant, Harden, & Westbrook has him excited. Can you imagine the triangle with this group?

    • ss3walkman - Jun 22, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      This guy just was being greedy. He played hardball assuming OKC would win the title and that he’d milk ’em dry. FAIL!

      Two things happened last night. #1 We found out that like I been saying, OKC Thunder does not have a good coach. They play off pure talent alone. That’s it. #2 Eric Spoelstra owes Wade and Lebron his life because he was out the door as Miami Heat head coach.  Neither coach is good at all, period. Just blessed with talent. That’s the truth. Phil Jackson to OKC??

  2. noahbird - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Ol’ Phil Jackson lives in that boring as section of the US. He could just meditate from Montana to OKC.

  3. pastortodd78 - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    The one team not time.

  4. mjacobs45 - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Why on Earth would you re-sign this lousy coach? He beat San Antonio because they were far more talented. He was the biggest anchor around OKC the entire NBA Finals. Dallas ran a 2-3 zone and beat Miami last year. Did you see one second of zone from Brooks? And anyone that allows Westbrook to play like that deserves to be fired.

    Go sign Jerry Sloan or Phil Jackson and you’ll have a ring next year

    • lyndseymarieee - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:26 PM

      He took a team that started their first season in OKC 23-59. Their second season they made it to the playoffs. Their third season they made it to the Western Conference Finals. Their fourth season they made it to the NBA Finals.

      But damn!

      Scott Brooks is a lousy coach.


      He may have made some questionable calls against the Heat but he is far from being lousy.

  5. rajbais - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Pay the man and then get an avid scoring big man!!!

    Miami had one in Bosh!!! Now it’s time for OKC to get one!!!

  6. rajbais - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Pay the man and then get an avid scoring big man!!!

    Miami had one in Bosh!!! Now it’s time for OKC to get one!!!

  7. bougin89 - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Scott Brooks definitely deserves criticism for his rotations and lack of adjustments in the finals but they weren’t going to beat the heat with the way Battier, Miller, and Chalmers played this series. Maybe its the defensive gameplan of clogging the paint but too many times the Heat had at least one player wide open on the perimeter while multiple defenders where caught standing straight up. Coach/players whatever you want to blame it on they did not bring it on the defensive end and after the first few games I thought they would let Lebron get his because they weren’t going to stop him regardless, instead they still tried to contain Lebron and the role players buried them.

    • franchiseplaya - Jun 22, 2012 at 2:09 PM

      truth. even my girlfriend who doesn’t like basketball would yell at the screen “why are there guys always so wide open?!” it was obvious to EVERYONE but brooks that an adjustment needed to be made.

  8. redstar504 - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Good for the Thunder that they didn’t sign this clown. True, this was not a Doc Rivers vs. Phill Jackson chess game of a finals and Erik Spoelstra isn’t going to outcoach many but at the end of the day Scott Brooks got outcoached by the Heat.

    Two things stood out:

    1.) The Heat were banging shot after shot from the arc. The Thunder should have went into press mode way sooner than they did. They should have gotten in the shooters face more. I know they were worried about LBJ and rotating off the double team but you can’t just let shooters keep banging from the arc like that.

    2.) This point is all coaching. I found that the Thunder players end of the third during the big Heat run, were playing at first lackadaisical as if they had all ready stamped their ticket to a game 6. Then starting in the fourth after the run the Thunder players were hanging their heads almost resigned to their fate. Resigned to you fate with a quarter to go and down 20? Brooks should have kept his players focused and into the game. That is all on coaching.

    Alas it couldn’t have happened to a nicer city, after all this is the same city that as New Orleans was trying to pump water out after Katrina OKC was forming a committee to keep the Hornets in OKC. I got no love for anything OKC so in all honesty I hope the sign Scott Brooks to a 10 year deal.

    • bigmeechy74 - Jun 22, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      Yeah man. How dare they try to keep an NBA team for their community?? What a bunch of jerks!!! You should definitely hate them. Not. But I think Scott Brooks is the worst coach in the NBA. I agree with you that he is terrible.

  9. lgwelsh1 - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Scott Brooks is a young coach himself, better to keep this bunch together a few more years and see where it goes. It’s a learning experience for everyone involved for the Thunder.

  10. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Mo Cheeks is better than him.

    Anyway, when the news broke before the Finals that he turned down the extension, I immediately said Phil.

  11. TheJStyles - Jun 22, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Scott Brooks Coaching for Dummies:

    When things are going good, completely change what you’re doing.

    When someone’s having a bad game, play them until they stop.

    When your best player leaves because of fouls, take out your second best player.


  12. realfootballfan - Jun 22, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Is that the job Phil is waiting on?

    It’s the closest contender to Montanna.

  13. mcjon22 - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    I rarely watch OKC because it seems whenever they are on national television they’re playing the Spurs, but in the finals this guy was thoroughly out coached by ERIC SPOLSTRA!!! ERIC SPOLSTRA?!?!? Yes, ERIC SPOLSTRA!!! He should be thankful OKC has interest in re-signing him.

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