It's a rare situation that Scott Brooks finds himself in. The head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder is now officially without a contract as of the end of the 2011-12 NBA season. Yet the coach also just finished losing in the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat, taking his young core led by Kevin Durant to the edge of a title.
It's clear that Brooks has some leverage to negotiate with given his current position. Rumors of Phil Jackson have swirled and some believe the team wants to actually move on. However, such rumors are popular this time of year given the void of any real news, and Brooks is taking the moderate approach with the media.
Scott Brooks on his future with the team: "I'm sure in the next couple of days we'll sit down and get together."— Royce Young (@dailythunder) June 23, 2012
I'm sure they will, too. Brooks did a wonderful job with Durant and Russell Westbrook and the rest to bring them together and believe in the cohesive whole. All throughout the season and NBA playoffs, the stars of the team talked about the unit rather than their own parts within it and that's difficult to do in the days of celebrating superstars.
While Brooks' decisions and adjustments (or lack of them) were criticized on basketball's biggest stage, that's always going to happen to the losing team of any series. Someone has to lose. 'Tis the nature of the game. And that someone has to lose for a particular reason. You don't fire the guy because he lost but instead realize he will learn from it and fix it next time.
Not that there's a lot to fix here. The Thunder have a great young core and head coach who just earned amazing experience together as a team. They lost to another team filled with veteran stars who had earned their stripes as well. To say anything about Brooks leaving is ridiculous unless the coach himself wants to move away from coaching the Thunder. Until then, Brooks deserves as much job security as anyone else in the league.