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Sam Presti On Brooks, Coaching Search

The Thunder fired coach Scott Brooks earlier today after the team failed to make the playoffs this season. GM Sam Presti held a press conference this evening to address the team letting Brooks go, as well as what the future holds for the franchise. Here are some of the highlights from Presti’s media session as relayed by Royce Young of Daily Thunder, who has more where this came from in his transcription.

On letting Brooks go:

“I want to stress this decision is not connected or related the results of last season. In fact, I’m not sure that anybody could’ve done a better job than what Scott was able to do and what the team was able to do given the circumstances we encountered. Change in organizations are necessary at times. As much as continuity is required for lasting success, change and transition are the engine for progress and evolution. And so we’re embracing that change and looking toward the next stage of our development of our organization in Oklahoma City.”

On the timing of Brooks’ firing:

“I looked at the option and studied the option of Scott returning very closely. But it would’ve been entering the final year of a four-year contract and after a lot of thought and deliberation, and although I think Scott would’ve been very comfortable coaching on that, I did not feel we were in a position to make another long-term commitment based on what I felt was simply a natural need for transition.”

On whether or not the team would consider hiring a college coach to replace Brooks:

“We’re not going to limit ourselves, or limit the scope of people we would look at for this position. It’s going to, at the end of the day, be directed by the vision of our team, the values of our organization, and the best person we feel like can assume a leadership role for this organization going forward. Not based on one season, but someone we feel like can re-establish our continuity and who is a fit for so many aspects of what it is here.”

On what the franchise is looking for in its next coach:

“We’ve got a pretty clear identity of the type of person and specific vision for that role going forward, but I’m hesitant to speak directly about it because I don’t want to get into comparing and contrasting what we’re looking for and what we had in that position prior in Scott. The team is a local team that competes nationally. It has a civic purpose to it, I believe, because it exists for the people. Because of the people that come every night. So to work here in a position like a head coach, I think it’s important that person really embraces the overall purpose of the work that gets done with the Thunder and I think it’s a privilege to work here for that reason.”

On the pressure the next coach will be under in 2015/16:

“Certainly, heading into that season, listen, we understand there will be an incredible amount of attention paid to next season. There will be a lot of different distractions that will be our job to try and manage. Not to eliminate, but try to manage so that we can play our best basketball. I think at times, the risk is not in moving forward, but I think the risk can be in being fearful of moving forward. If you identify somebody you feel like can help the organization that is a good fit here, I believe that’s kind of part of the job. But no matter what the circumstances are we have to be able to put it in the proper place and understand we have to play good basketball knowing there will be an interpretation [of] anything that happens outside, or what the weather is, or those types of things. But we’re prepared for that to the best of our ability and we’ll go about our business that way.”

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