Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant has revealed that although it was tough to deal with, he supports the team’s decision to fire Scott Brooks.
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Amid intense speculation that the Thunder were considering their options, Brooks was finally officially fired on Wednesday after a year of disappointment.
OKC missed out on the playoffs on the final night of the regular season as the New Orleans Pelicans advanced on the head-to-head tiebreaker and it came after a difficult year in which he had to cope with injury after injury.
Durant missed significant time with an on-going foot problem, while Serge Ibaka was absent down the stretch due to knee surgery as several other players also missed playing time.
However, the Thunder made the decision based on the disappointment of the past few years with Brooks unable to lead them to a championship as his closest attempt came with an appearance in the NBA Finals in 2012.
“Today was tough for me. While I support our team’s decision 100 percent and look forward to the upcoming season and the future in OKC, Scotty was my coach and a friend for the past seven seasons,” he said in a statement, as reported by NBA TV.
“We accomplished a lot together and those times will never be taken away from us. I grew as both a man and a ball player under his guidance and for that I will forever be grateful.”
Durant’s reaction was highly anticipated given the repercussions Brooks’ dismissal could have had on his future given that he is set to become a free agent next summer.
While the former league MVP has insisted that he will remain in OKC, a coaching change could well change his mind as he considers his options moving forward with several college coaches linked with the post initially which would bring into question the team’s ability to win in the short-term future.