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Billy Donovan, Thunder mutually part ways

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Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets - Game Seven Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

This was Billy Donovan’s last season as the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In a statement, the team announced that Donovan and the Thunder have mutually parted ways.

Donovan’s contract expired when OKC lost to the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA playoffs.

By the looks of it, it looks like both sides did not want to pursue an extension, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

“I have great respect for Billy and will always appreciate our work together. He is a terrific basketball coach, and we are proud of what he has accomplished with the Thunder,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager, Sam Presti, in the press release. “We had planned to sit down at the end of the season and discuss the best way to move forward for both of us. After those discussions, it became apparent that we couldn’t provide him the information on the future direction of the team over the next several seasons to give him the level of clarity that he understandably desires at this stage of his career. Therefore, we close this chapter and reflect fondly on all that he has given to the team, organization, and community. Billy will always have a place in the Thunder family.”

Donovan has coached some of the sport’s biggest names while maintaining a 243-157 (.608) record in the NBA. He was also 18-23 in the postseason.

The Thunder reached the Western Conference Final in Donovan’s first year at the helm. The team also made an appearance in the next four years under Donovan.

“Coaching the Oklahoma City Thunder the past five seasons has been a great honor, and I thank Mr. Bennett, Sam, and the entire organization for the opportunity,” said Billy Donovan in the press release. “I have a great respect and admiration for the players I coached in Oklahoma, and I also want to thank the coaches I worked with, who gave unbelievable time and expertise to our common goal. Lastly, I want to thank the Oklahoma City community for being so welcoming to my family during our time here. This place will always be special to us. I will always hold this organization in the highest regard and wish the Thunder and their fans the success they deserve.”

Donovan will now enjoy six months off before coaching in the college ranks again or wait until the NBA season opens back up in December. Either way, the guy has options.