Last year the Thunder fired their long time head coach Scott Brooks. Brooks had coached a good 95% of the games in Thunder history and did so with success. He build the team up from a non-contender to a team that was in the Western Conference Finals multiple times and had one NBA Finals appearance, why would OKC fire a man who had such talent? Many believed it was the wrong decision because it would make Kevin Durant want to leave the team even more.
Well… Now Kevin Durant is long gone. He is on to the Golden State Warriors and Steve Kerr. That does not mean that critics of the Brooks’ firing were right, though. Donovan proved this past postseason that he is a much better coach than Brooks ever was for the Thunder. Donovan out-coached the great Greg Popovich and was five minutes away from taking his team to the NBA Finals in his first season. Donovan showed that he can pull the right strings at the right time to help his team succeed.
Now is the time when Donovan will have to do that more than ever. Donovan has gone from coaching two top five players in the league to only coaching one, with rumors around that that one will soon be on his way out. If the Thunder are going to continue their success it will be because of the coaching that Donovan does. But do not worry, Thunder fans, Donovan is perfect for the job.
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Donovan has a history of taking teams out of mediocrity and leading to success. Look at what he did for the University of Florida. The school went from an average team at best to a team that was in the national spotlight and constantly contending for a title. All because of what Donovan was able to do with the team. He was able to find gems in scouting with players like Joekim Noah and Bradley Beal. He is a man who knows how to find great players and make a system that will fit them perfectly.
Donovan was not brought in in an effort to win in his first season. He was brought in to build for the future and, if needed, help the Thunder recover from some major losses. Donovan has a good assistant to help him too. Mo Cheeks being by Donovan’s side to help develop the Thunder’s guards is a huge asset. The two together can build up the team for years to come. They are why there should be no worry of what is coming for OKC. Donovan will have to adjust after losing KD, but no one can do that on the fly better than him. Winning the Finals would be fun, but it is the journey there that makes it so special.