Could Griffin be the One?
The Thunder isn't any different than the 76er's, Pelicans, Clippers, Rockets, and Pacers all are in the process of looking for new head coaches. What separates Oklahoma City from the rest of these teams is that we don't have a clear idea of what they are looking to accomplish in the next 12 months.
If Thunder wants to compete in the Western Conference, then they should go all-in with Danilo Gallinari, Chris Paul, Steven Adams, and Dennis Schroder, make Doc Rivers or Ty Lue a "Godfather" offer, and load up. If not, tear the roster down, get younger and bring in a first-time head coach who understands what kind of organization Sam Presti wants to run, and work to get back to where you were between 2009-2016.
If you're looking for that perfect fit for the latter of those two options, Adrain Griffin might be your guy. Griffin was the lead assistant to Billy Donovan for his first two years in Oklahoma City.
Before coming to the Thunder, Griffin spent time in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Orlando. Since 2018 he's been in Tronto, where he helped the Raptors win a Championship, and when Nick Nurse decided to take a night off in the bubble, Griffin got the call.
"Definitely just an awesome gesture by coach."... "You know, we have a first-class organization for a reason. You start from the top with Masai and Bobby and Coach Nurse."... "There's a reason why we've had success over the years."
If you're wondering how the Raptors did, they beat the 76ers 125-121. "Honestly, for one night, I felt like Cinderella. I had the glass slippers on, and it was great.".. "Tomorrow it's back to reality, but it was an awesome feeling."
If the Thunder rebuilds, Griffin won't have an "awesome feeling" most nights; in fact, they're going to be losing more than winning as the roster grows. But, with a player like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to build around and a bevy of draft picks over the next few seasons, you shouldn't stay down for long.
Even with the apparent challenges coaching in Oklahoma City is a heck of an opportunity. You're coming into a situation where you already know what is expected, and there shouldn't be any surprises. You'll have the support of the Owner, General Manager, and the fans.
All you have to do is convince the Thunder's young core, you're the guy that can get them where they want to go.
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With more than 20 years of experience hosting local and national radio shows, Erik Gee is a fixture of Oklahoma sports media. He has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for the past eight seasons. He is also the co-host of the Pat Jones show on 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa.