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Thunder GM Presti: Scott Brooks’ job is safe

Jun 5, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Three Getty Images

Oklahoma City needs to take a step back as an organization and see what it needs to do to take the next step and win an NBA title.

They have the hard part of assembling a contender covered — they have two elite stars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. But you can’t just do that and role the ball out there, despite what Phil Jackson’s critics think. You need to put together a system, a philosophy on the court that works then fill the roster with role player who fit that system. It has to be a team effort in the end, with the stars as the foundational pieces.

Thunder GM Sam Presti believes Scott Brooks is the guy who can put that system around Westbrook and Durant. While there had been some speculation around the league Brooks’ seat was getting warm, Presti shot that down at his end-of-season press conference Thursday, as reported by Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman.

Remember that Brooks got the backing of Durant and Westbrook at the end of the season. That matters in OKC.

The organizational philosophy in OKC is that the window is not closing anytime soon. They are not pressured to take gambles — Durant and Westbrook are 25 years old. They are not even in their statistical prime yet. The Thunder are not going to gamble with that future.

The only potential pressure is Kevin Durant becoming a free agent in 2016 and leaving (and Westbrook in 2017). But Durant is not built like some other stars, he is not just going to gravitate toward the bright lights of larger markets. He leaves only if he doesn’t think OKC can build a winner.

Presti is working on that. He is trusting Scott Brooks to be the guy to help build it.

  1. loubearkane - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    If he doesn’t move Westbrook to the 2 and start Reggie Jackson at Point to at least get them INTO a offensive set then he should be fired.

  2. gotchangeforadollar - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Good news for the rest of the western conference.

    • yesser12 - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      Why they made the WCF still. Only reason they lost in 2013 was because of injury.

      • spursareold - Jun 5, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        I think the Spurs put an end to that little fable this year.

        Presti needs to force Brooks to hire a coach that can implement an offense that is more than one pick and roll leading to a clearout and an iso.

  3. yesser12 - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Nobody better to replace him.
    Don’t give me Mcmillian, Gendry, Lue, George Karl, Vinny, all the other retreads.

  4. tolan04 - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    The future is bright in okc of underachievement and Jekyll and Hyde Westbrook. Okc needs a low block player Perkins is garbage.

  5. azarkhan - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Brooks has benefited from similar support from general manager Sam Presti, particularly when it comes to outside criticism that he should be running more complex offensive sets. That, generally, doesn’t come from inside the league.

    As one Eastern Conference executive noted of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, “KD is not a system player and Russ is not close to one.”

    Obviously Durant and Westbrook are smart enough to learn an offensive system. Does the exec mean they refuse to play within a system? It’s a tantalizing quote that I wish BR had followed up on.

    • spursareold - Jun 5, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      Then they’ll never win as long as Miami is together.

      • patfic5 - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:17 PM

        Spurs in 6.

  6. imthedudedude - Jun 5, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    FOR NOW….

  7. flickflint - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    Don’t matter who is coaching BASEDGODSCURSE

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