Yesterday the Thunder took the first step in their campaign to keep Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City: they fired head coach Scott Brooks. This doesn’t come as a shock to most because regardless of their missing the playoffs or the plague of injuries they had to deal with this season, Brooks’s reputation as a head coach has never been that stellar. There have been talks of his inability as a play caller as well as his disregard for defense. So for OKC, this season and Durant’s looming free agency were simply a reason to do what they had probably thought about doing for awhile.
Over in the east, the Washington Wizards have an absolutely terrible coach in Randy Wittman. He doesn’t draw up plays, and when he makes the attempt to, it’s usually for an iso play that results in a long mid-range jumper. Not exactly efficient. Yet, the Wizards are in the playoffs for the second straight year and are up 2-0 on the Toronto Raptors, making Randy Wittman’s road playoff record 7-1. He’s the first coach in NBA history to do that in her first eight road games.
For those who don’t know, Kevin Durant is a Washington D.C. native (actually he’s from Prince George’s County, Maryland, but D.C. is right there). The Wizards have been building a roster for Durant the last three years. They have a core back court in Wall and Beal, they gave Marcin Gortat the extension he deserved, and they have young talent in Otto Porter. Pierce’s contract expires in 2016, the same year as Nene’s ( clearing a lot of space), which happens to be the same year as Durant’s free agency.
If I’m the Wizards front office, and I really wish I were, I’m firing Randy Wittman regardless of this season. The Wizards are an above average three point shooting team that shoots a below average amount of three pointers. Some of the best Wizards basketball comes only as the result of a broken play.
After firing Wittman, I’m hiring Scott Brooks. He’s not a fantastic replacement, but he’s proven he can lead superstar talent (Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka) and made three conference finals, winning one of them, in the blood-bath that is the west. He’ll be more than capable of continuing that success with the talent and opening cap space looming in Washington.
Lastly, I’m putting all these ingredients into a pot and feeding Durant as soon as free agency hits. Playing for your home team… playing for a coach you’re familiar with… leading a team with not only a talented point guard but one that will PASS YOU THE BALL… and a roster that’s in a perfect position to be good for a long time in a weak Eastern Conference.
Lebron’s time in the throne will be about over in 2016, and in the Eastern Conference, Durant can easily take his place. Come on, Washington, it’s yours for the taking!