Step one of the Gator Nation’s worst fears have been realized.
Last week, the Oklahoma City Thunder fired coach Scott Brooks as the Thunder missed the playoffs. There’s been lots of speculation that Billy Donovan would succeed him in OKC, including some reports that he would take the job if offered it. If that’s truly the case, then it might be time to start looking for a new coach, because the Thunder have begun talks with Donovan to have him replace Brooks, per ESPN’s Marc Stein.
For Donovan, the opportunity is certainly a good one. As hard as this is to say, I believe Donovan has taken UF as far as it can go. And passing up the chance to coach two of the NBA’s top five players in Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant (and a great big man in Serge Ibaka) isn’t something that’s easy to do, especially for someone who’s felt the itch to jump to the NBA before. I must say, if Donovan is going to leave, this is the right time- and the right job- to do it.
But if I was OKC, I’d also be a bit wary of Donovan. Remember, he took the Orlando Magic job once. For a couple days. And then left. And then Orlando had to start their coaching search all over again. OK, so that could have turned out much worse than it did (the Magic got Stan Van Gundy) but that’s not something OKC would like to deal with.
We’ll have more updates on this story as it happens. But I really think we are going to have to prepare to say goodbye to the best thing to ever happen to Gator basketball. Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. In all kinds of weather, right?