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Loud Links: 05|04|10 - Brooks is Extended

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THUNDER: Thunder Excercises Option on Brooks
Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has exercised its third-year option for the 2011-12 season on Head Coach Scott Brooks. "We look forward to our players continuing to benefit from Scott’s consistent focus on their development, selfless approach to his work, and commitment to our organizational vision," said Presti.

Brooks was named Thunder head coach on April 14, 2009, becoming the 16th head coach in franchise history, after serving as interim head coach for the last 69 games of the 2008-09 regular season. Brooks was awarded the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2009-10 NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Thunder to a 50-32 record in his first full season as head coach. The Thunder posted a 23-18 road record (tied for 6th best in the NBA this season) and finished as the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Under Brooks direction the Thunder led the NBA in blocked shots (5.9 blocks per game) and ranked 7th in defensive field goal percentage (44.8%).

"I am very excited to have the opportunity to continue to work with the Thunder organization and this great group of players," said Brooks. "The support that my family and I have been given by this community has been overwhelming and we are thrilled to be a part of it."

THUNDER: Thunder Reflects On Season, Looks Ahead to Busy Summer
Players spoke about the desire to build on this 50 win season, but how there really wasn’t a need to discuss it amongst themselves on this day. They’re already on the same page. For example, Durant said he’s going back to D.C. in about a week, but he won’t be going alone.

"James (Harden) and Eric (Maynor) said they’re going to come back there with me," Durant said. "It’s something small like that that shows we’re ready to build together as a group, continue to get better as a group because it’s not just on the basketball court. We like hanging together off the basketball court and I think that makes it easier for us when we start playing basketball again. It’s a group of brothers that I’m with now so I’m happy I’m here."

Durant and the rest of the Thunder shared those same sentiments a year ago, when each headed their own way, some back to college, others to USA Basketball minicamps and everyone back to their hometown at some time or another. It’s more of the same this season.

Bulls have long list of Del Negro replacements | Yahoo! Sports
The Chicago Bulls have joined the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, and New Orleans Hornets in the search for a head coach. Vinny Del Negro has gotten the sack after a tumultuous 41-41 season.

The list of possible replacements, according to ESPN, is about the same as all the rest: Doug Collins, Maurice Cheeks, Eric Musselman, Phil Jackson, Byron Scott, Sam Mitchell, Tom Thibodeau, Lawrence Frank, Dwane Casey, Avery Johnson, John Calipari, and Jeff Van Gundy, though he has supposedly made it pretty clear to the Nets and 76ers that he doesn't want to get back into the coaching game right now.