Scott Brooks

Report: Thunder, coach Scott Brooks nowhere near deal


How much is Scott Brooks worth as a coach?

Remember his contract is set to expire on July 1. He guided the Oklahoma City Thunder to the NBA finals with a young core. While you can question his basketball Xs and Os — and there are plenty of basketball people who do — this team really relates to him and plays hard for him. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden like him. And, he made the adjustments necessary to beat Gregg Popovich, the best coach on the planet right now. But his rotations in the finals were confusing. At best.

Well, what Brooks thinks he is worth and what Thunder management have turned out to be two very different things and the two sides are nowhere near a deal, reports David Aldridge of

Sources confirmed a Yahoo! report that Oklahoma City is now offering Brooks a four-year deal, after staying at three years during the last several months of negotiations, and a league source said that Oklahoma City is now willing to discuss a deal that would get Brooks in the $4 million per year range.

Brooks believes that his performance in developing the Thunder’s rotation the last three years warrants a deal that would make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the league. A source with knowledge of the negotiations said that the Thunder’s current offer would not get Brooks into the top 10 of the league’s top-paid coaches, based on this past season’s coaching salaries.

Welcome to coaching in a small market.

In the end, you have to think both sides will get this done. Brooks isn’t doing this just for the money, he really likes this team. He’ll come down some. The Thunder know Brooks has the pulse of this team and they have gotten better for him each year (and he has gotten better). It’s a match.

Besides, if the Thunder are going to replace Brooks at this point that only works if you are going to go big with a name coach who can walk in the door, instantly command the respect of the locker room and take them to the next level. And if you think Brooks is asking for too much money, wait until you talk to those guys.

Figure it out, guys.

Report: Some Hawks executives doubt Danny Ferry’s contrition

Danny Ferry, Mike Budenholzer
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Since his racist comments about Luol Deng, Danny Ferry has mostly avoided the public eye.

He apologized through a couple statements released around the beginning of his leave of absence. He met with black community leaders. He claimed “full responsibility.”

A cadre of NBA people vouched for him. A law firm the Hawks hired to investigate themselves essentially cleared of him of being motivated by racial bias.

But there’s another side.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Ferry’s efforts at contrition sometimes fell short to some inside the organization. Several Hawks executives were at times put off by Ferry’s behavior during a compulsory two-day sensitive training session, especially since they considered his actions triggered the assembly in the first place. He came across as inattentive and dismissive of the exercise, some said, and fiddled with his phone quite a bit. Ferry contends he was taking notes on the meeting.

“It was awkward for everyone because I had not seen or been around Hawks employees for three months,” Ferry told ESPN this summer about the sensitivity training. “I took the seminar seriously, participated in the role-play exercises and certainly learned from the two-day session.”

the Hawks satisfied Ferry on June 22 by releasing both the written Taylor report and a flowery press release in which Hawks CEO Koonin was quoted saying, among other things, that “Danny Ferry is not a racist.” Some Hawks executives grumbled that the team overreached in exonerating Ferry, but doing so — not to mention paying Ferry significantly more than the $9 million he was owed on his “golden ticket” deal — was the cost of moving on.

I don’t know whether Ferry has shown the proper level of contrition, whether he was playing on his phone or taking notes.

But I know what he said:

“He’s a good guy overall, but he’s got some African in him, and I don’t say that in a bad way other than he’s a guy that may be making side deals behind you, if that makes sense. He has a storefront out front that’s beautiful and great, but he may be selling some counterfeit stuff behind you.”

He was not reading directly from a scouting report. He did not stop when his paraphrasing repeated a racist trope.

That’s a problem.

I don’t think Ferry intended to say something racist – but he did.

It’s a fixable issue, though. Through introspection and a desire to change, he can learn from this mistake. Maybe he already has.

That some around him don’t think he took that process seriously is worth noting. They might be off base, and Ferry obviously disagrees with their perception. But this is a two-sided story despite the common narrative focusing on Ferry’s redemption.

It’ll be up to any potential future employers to sort through the discrepancies.

Gilbert Arenas: Caron Butler’s version of gun incident ‘false’

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Caron Butler recently detailed the Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittenton gun incident.

In a since-deleted – but screenshot-captured – Instagram post, Arenas gives his description:

The biggest differences between Butler’s and Arenas’ versions:

1. Arenas claims he wasn’t the one who owed Crittenton money, that the feud escalated over Arenas prematurely showing his hand during a card game.

2. Arenas says he told Crittenton to pick a gun to shoot Arenas with – not to pick a gun he’d get shot by Arenas with.