Thunder head coach Scott Brooks will be traveling to Orlando in a few weeks to coach the West in this year's NBA All-Star Game, scheduled for February 26. Brooks earned the honor by coaching the Thunder to a Western Conference (and NBA best) record of 21-6. The All-Star game selects the coaches with the best records from each conference as of February 15.
Scott Brooks has helped oversee the construction of the Thunder franchise since becoming head coach during the 2008-09 season. Here is his career record:
|2008-09||22-47||.319||5th in Northwest|
|2009-10||50-32||.610||4th in Northwest, 8th seed, lost in 1st round|
|2010-11||55-27||.671||1st in Northwest, 4th seed, lost in WCF|
|2011-12||21-6||.778||1st in Northwest, TBD|
Brooks has certainly had his fair share of critics over the past two seasons, as he faces the monumental challenge of delivering this team to a championship destination. However, taking a step back and looking at his coaching progression, it becomes more and more difficult to complain. Brooks has coached his team to a 33 win increase in his first three seasons and had them knocking on the door to the Finals last May. Brooks is not a perfect coach, but then again, there is no such thing as a perfect coach. The NBA is a players' league and at the end of the day the players determine the coach's career arc. Lest you forget, Phil Jackson, owner of 11 championship rings, once had a team that had Shaq, Kobe, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton and still got crushed by the Detroit Pistons in the Finals. Also, as we've written repeatedly in this space, if Brooks isn't the best guy for the Thunder, then who is? Larry Brown might be one of the best coaches in NBA history, but I certainly wouldn't want him to come to OKC for a year and a half.
This is Scott Brooks: a young coach who is learning as he goes, just like his young team. They all are incredibly loyal to one another, work hard together, and will rise and fall together. And in two weeks, Brooks will be honored for his efforts by being rewarded with the opportunity to tell Kobe Bryant that Russell Westbrook is going to get the crunch time minutes (I hope).