UConn basketball coach Kevin Ollie has reportedly told people close to him that he will not be joining the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer.
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It was reported earlier on Thursday that he had removed himself from consideration for the position, after the Thunder fired Scott Brooks earlier this week.
Brooks was in charge for seven seasons but departed after the franchise took the decision to end his stint as coach due to a failure to get the team to a championship.
Injuries undoubtedly conspired against him at key times, but that wasn’t enough to save him and allow him to return for the final year of his contract.
It had been suggested that Ollie was one of the favourites to land the job, but Florida coach Billy Donovan has now emerged as a likely candidate with his rival dropping out.
Although Ollie has not officially confirmed that he will not be leaving, he did release a statement on Wednesday which revealed that he “had no plans to pursue other opportunities”.
It is also reported that San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina is a candidate for the job, but it remains to be seen whether or not he is ready to leave the team after just one year with Gregg Popovich.
Nevertheless, it will be a big blow to OKC general manager Sam Presti to not have Ollie as an option after it was assumed that he would be a favourite for the role given he has previously played for the Thunder and has a connection with the franchise.
It was said that Kevin Durant was firmly in his corner to be named the next coach, but the reigning MVP may well be left disappointed.