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OKC Thunder: Internal Development Goes Beyond Players

Across the board as a franchise, the Thunder believe in internal development.
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When thinking about teams across the league and the progress they’ve made over the years, it’s natural to think about the development of the players. In Oklahoma City, the franchise getting better over time and building up talent goes beyond the guys that suit up and touch the floor.

Take Thunder coach Mark Daigneault for example. He went from head coach of the OKC Blue in the G League, to assistant at the NBA level with the Thunder, and more recently became the Thunder’s head coach.

That internal development and promotion embodies Thunder culture and everything the franchise stands for.

In the upcoming season, two members of the Oklahoma City system will step into new opportunities to further their respective careers.

For starters, the head coach of the OKC Blue last season was Grant Gibbs. He’ll now become an assistant coach on Daigneault’s staff at the NBA level with the Thunder. On the flip side, Thunder assistant coach Kam Woods will transition to the G League to become the new head coach of the Blue.

While this switch might feel strange, it makes sense for both coaches. In fact, Daigneault shed light on this topic on Monday at Media Day.

“We’re trying to develop our people,” said Daigneault.

He would go on to explain that these changes will result in great experience in different ways for both Gibbs and Woods.

For Gibbs, this will be his first chance to coach at the NBA level. While it’s not the head job he had prior with the Blue, it does give him a new perspective.

As it relates to Woods, he’s already got the assistant experience at the NBA level but has never been the head guy outside of Summer League. While he’ll be moving into the G League system, this offers the opportunity to be a leader and make higher level decisions on the Blue.

At the end of the day, both Gibbs and Woods will likely end up being more well-rounded coaches at the end of this season. The Thunder having such a fluid system helps the coaching staff and front office develop just as much as it does the players.

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