When Scott Brooks took over the Thunder, they were 1-12 and headed toward their fourth straight losing season. In his first full season, he guided Oklahoma City to 50 wins. The team steadily rose to championship contention under his watch, peaking with an NBA Finals loss.
But the warm feelings of that era will forever be associated with Brooks.
He helped instill a culture with a young roster, effectively implementing his system until the Thunder steadily advanced deep enough the playoffs that Brooks’ simplistic offense became a liability. Essentially, by succeeding, he made his job too advanced for himself.
That can be a tough pill to swallow, but Brooks’ reputation earned him a lucrative contract with the Wizards and a standing ovation in his return to Oklahoma City tonight. (Westbrook ruined the good vibes for Brooks and Washington.)
I expect Durant to get a similarly warm reception when he returns with the Warriors on Feb. 11.