Scott Brooks’ job appears to be safe with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
General manager Sam Presti backed the coach on Thursday, saying he did an excellent job this season in leading the Thunder to the Western Conference finals before they were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs in six games.
“I understand, we all have a tendency to look at the last game, or the last series. I respect that. That’s part of sports,” Presti said. “I can’t do that. I’m looking at a body of work. I’m looking at an understanding of what drives our success and the way in which we’ve gotten to this point.
“You have to look at yourself critically every year and that starts with me, that starts with everyone in the program, and I think Scott will do the same and come back a little bit better.”
The Thunder, led by NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant, finished the regular season with 59 victories. They dealt with various injuries during the season, including the loss of guard Russell Westbrook for 36 games.
Presti believes the Thunder has a strong nucleus to build upon for next season with Durant, Westbrook and young players such as guard Reggie Jackson. Oklahoma City faces contract extension talks with Jackson in the offseason and could loss Derek Fisher to retirement and Caron Butler and Thabo Sefolosha to free agency.
“We’re in a very manageable salary-cap situation financially and, most importantly, strategically,” Presti said. “We feel like we’re positioned well to be able to sustain the performance of the team.”
The 48-year-old Brooks has a 293-170 record in six seasons with the Thunder and is 39-34 in the playoffs, winning the Western Conference championship in 2012.
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