Monday, June 25th, 2012 at 10:15 am  |  14 responses

Thunder GM Calls Phil Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy Rumors ‘Rubbish’

OKC Thunder GM Sam Presti shot down rumors that the team may target Phil Jackson or Jeff Van Gundy should they fail to reach an agreement with head coach Scott Brooks. Per the Oklahoman: “To me, it’s rubbish,’ said Presti, the Thunder’s general manager, when asked about recent reports listing the two former coaches as possibilities. Brooks’ contract expires Saturday. But the two sides postponed negotiations while the team was competing in the NBA Finals. Now that the season has concluded, Presti called Brooks’ contract the organization’s top priority. And, again, Presti stressed during his season-ending news conference with reporters how valuable he believes Brooks has been in helping to build the Thunder. ‘As we’ve said before, Scotty is an integral part of our organization and critical to our success,’ Presti said. ‘And we value him greatly. We’re looking forward to having those conversations, as he said, in the coming days. But he’s been integral to our success. We wouldn’t be in the situation that we’re in without him and his commitment to the organization and to our players.’”

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  • tpathi1

    if phil jackson wants to go to OKC then OKC should make that their top priority. He’s got 11 rings as a coach…11!!

  • Sean B

    No they should stick to the plan and bring back the guy that got them here.

  • tpathi1

    no Sean B..if they can get Phil then get him! Phil Jackson is a master at getting the supremely talented ball players to play at their very best and in turn win multiple rings. Hiring Phil Jackson to a team with KD and Westbrook all but guarantees the Thunder atleast 2 rings!

  • jayereid

    omg! that was i first thought after watching okc loose to the heet! this young team needs phil jackson no doubt it.

  • Wet

    I think phil jackson is a good coach, but he’s also really good at having extremely talented teams to coach. I think it would be a bad move, he’d only coach a couple years and would probably take a lot of away games off.

    I’d love to see jeff van gundy coach again. But, not here.

  • Mike

    Bring the zen master to okc. This team is right up his alley, already full of talent.

  • RedRum

    Come on.. we all know that Jax sees OKC and drools to coach them. He knows that physically KD and RW are the most gifted players he would ever coach (including MJ and Pip). He sees them running the Triangle, KD starting to get used to the system, starting reading the game better, teaching him how to make the best play. He sees RW and his crazy gifts, and knows how to put enough structure around him to make him more efficient. He sees them playing off each other in the strong side triangle sets, giving them dozens of options and teaching them to pick the best at each time. Jax coaching the OKC is a true basketball fan’s wet dream

  • Brahsef

    @RedRum I think after having Jordan/Pippin and Kobe/Shaq not much makes Jax drool.

  • RedRum

    @Brahsef I disagree. The NBA has not seen players like Durant and Westbrook. I will agree with Shaq, but I rate KD/RW combo as more athletic than MJ/Pip. I am talking about physical attributes here, not judging who was the better player. Physically KD/RW is nothing like the NBA has ever seen. KDs combination of length, shooting, poise, IQ and clutch at this young age is ahead the curve on any player before him. Westbrook is the quickest and most explosive guard I have seen. There have been quicker guards, more explosive but the combination is uncharted. Mind you, I am old enough to have seen MJ/Pip and Shaq/kobe do their thing (I am old enough to have seen Gervin play in the Spurs…). But I am coaching using the Triangle (not a pro coach) and I can envision the damage those two can do within it.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7C0vd-L5lg Munky

    What?? Im sorry but KD and Wussell are not more athletic than MJ/Pip. They were arguably the two most athletic guys at their positions. Wussell maybe, but “I cant get 185″ KD…no

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    @ RedRum. I agree with you and said the same thing on another thread when OKC lost the championship. That team is tailor made for PJax. Durant and Westbrook in the triangle…..that will be sick.

    Now Presti and the OKC brass have an interesting problem. Do they go after PJax or stay faithful to Brooks? That’s a tough one. Brooks is an OK coach (don’t cry for him for he refused to sign a 3 year 11 million extension)but is no Phil Jackson.

    I respect what Presti has done but if he fails to at least reach out to Jackson (who may not even want to go to OKC…..)then that will tell us a lot about Presti’s decision making style. (and not in a good way, LOL) We’ll see.

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    Furthermore, if OKC keeps Fish, PJax will have a guy who knows the triangle inside out that can help the young guys out when needed. Very much like like a player/assistant coach. OKC may be over-thinking this.

  • RunNGun

    OKC is tricked out to play the triangle.

  • MJL

    You can say what you want about having great talent, but everybody knows that coaching matters. It’s why the Bulls and Lakers were great. It’s why the Patriots and Spurs were great. It’s why Alabama and Kentucky are kicking butt and taking names. It takes a guy that not only knows his Xs and Os, but is also a supurb motivator. Talent is only part of the equation. You’ve gotta have great coaching and nobody in the NBA does it like Jackson, except maybe Popovich. Great talent combined with great coaching = championships. This team is perfect for Phil Jackson. Sorry Thunder fans, but whether you want to admit it or not, Brooks is not that great of a coach. Too many of our fans have built him up into a great coach because of how far we’ve gotten. Trust me, it’s mainly due to natural progression and talent. The truth is, he’s not very sharp when it comes to the major aspects of coaching an NBA team. Look at it this way, if we keep Brooks, we’ll always be in a position where we’re feeling like something needs to be changed, whether it’s tweaking the roster or tweaking the system, even with everything we have in place. Get Phil Jackson, and we can immediately feel good about our chances to go toe to toe with ANYBODY, not just the old teams and bottom feeders, WITH the roster we have. They can say what they want about how important they think Brooks is to our success and our future, but they know in their hearts that he’s not the guy to take us all the way. They should get PJ here, FAST.