Thunder fire head coach Scott Brooks
Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that the Thunder were uncertain whether Brooks would return next season and first broke the news Wednesday that the team had let him go.
The coach's contract had been guaranteed for next season, with a team option on his deal for the 2016-17 season.
"As we all know, this past year we had unique and challenging circumstances and as I have conveyed, not many people could have accomplished what Scott and this team were able to," Thunder GM Sam Presti said in a statement. "Therefore, it is very important to state that this decision is not a reflection of this past season, but rather an assessment of what we feel is necessary at this point in time in order to continually evolve, progress and sustain."
Brooks took over the Thunder on an interim basis in 2008 after the firing of P.J. Carlesimo and was hired permanently after the end of the 2008-09 season. The Thunder made the playoffs in each of the following five seasons but failed to qualify this season. Thunder star Kevin Durant, a four-time NBA scoring champion, was limited to just 27 games by a foot injury.
Brooks was 338-207 in seven seasons as Thunder coach, leading the team to five straight playoff appearances. Under Brooks, Oklahoma City reached the NBA Finals in 2012, where they lost to the Miami Heat, and twice fell in the conference finals. The Thunder recorded the Western Conference's best record in four consecutive seasons, from 2010-11 through 2013-14.
University of Connecticut head coach and former Thunder player Kevin Ollie was rumored to be a target to replace Brooks, but Ollie said in a statement issued Wednesday that he has "no plans to pursue other opportunities." SNY's Adam Zagoria reported Wednesday that the Thunder are already talking to Ollie.
- Dan Gartland