A high profile college coach may be headed to the NBA. According to SNY’s Adam Zagoria, the Oklahoma City Thunder are exploring the possibility of firing current head coach Scott Brooks and replacing him with Connecticut Huskies coach Kevin Ollie after missing the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.
Since taking over for Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun in 2012, Ollie has gone 72-33 in Storrs.
Two seasons ago, he helped lead the Huskies to an NCAA tournament championship as a No. 7 seed and signed a contract extension shortly afterward. As a player, Ollie spent the last of his 13 seasons with the Thunder and was a teammate of star Kevin Durant.
Given Ollie’s close relationship with OKC GM Sam Presti, this is a move that could very well happen.
This past season, the injury-ravaged Thunder went 45-37 and just barely missed the postseason, losing the No. 8 seed to the New Orleans Pelicans. Injuries limited Durant to just 27 games, while defensive machine Serge Ibaka played in only 64 and dynamic point man Russell Westbrook appeared in just 67.
Given how the team went 59-23 last season and lost in the Conference Finals and then took such a step back this season, even if it was due to numerous injuries to key players, it’s easy to see why team management may look to make a change and find someone to blame in Brooks.
Just the same, while it does seem farfetched that Brooks would be let go after just one bad season after such a long string of success, this is a story that should be watched like a hawk over the next few weeks.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports