This was never going to end any other way.
Scott Brooks will be back with the Oklahoma City Thunder next season. And a few more after that. The two sides have reached a deal, reports David Aldridge of NBA.com and TNT.
Deal done in OKC for Scott Brooks; should be signed Monday. Four years, 4M+/year.
That gives Brooks the years he wanted, but the salary is not out of control (Doc Rivers was the top paid coach in the NBA last year at $7 million).
Brooks was really always going to come back as coach. This team believes in him. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook trust him. We can debate his rotations — I thought Brook’s choices hurt OKC in the finals — the fact is this team listens to him and plays very hard for him. That matters.
And Books is young as a coach, a guy who is still learning.
Some Thunder fans seemed to hold out the unrealistic option of Phil Jackson coming in. That wouldn’t have worked. I don’t mean on the court, although Russell Westbrook is not a guy who fits the triangle point guard well at all. But rather, I mean off the court — Jackson is not just a guy who comes in and coaches, he influences and changes every level of the organization. The Thunder do not need that, Sam Presti has set up San Antonio North — a lot of very good, selfless players buying into what works. Jackson changes that dynamic and while he has won this is a young core that is on the verge of winning and there is no reason to change that up.
Now this is behind them and the Thunder can focus on taking one more step.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.