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Brooks Discusses New Contract

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Thunder coach Scott Brooks met with the media on Tuesday to discuss his new contract to remain with the organization. Thunder coach Scott Brooks met with the media on Tuesday to discuss his new contract to remain with the organization.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

When Scott Brooks sat down to speak to the media in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, he started things off with the good humor this city has come to know from the Thunder coach.

"Yeah at the start of the season Sam told me, OK it's NBA Finals or adios!" Brooks quipped.

That said clearly in jest, the rest of the press conference was strictly business and planning for the future. No terms of Brooks' new deal have been released but there is a pretty good indication of how long fans should expect to see Brooks patrolling the OKC sideline. The contract has been speculated to be in the four-year, $18 million range.

Brooks, whose contract was allowed to expire at season's end, heard all the rumors swirling about potential candidates poised to replace him on the Thunder bench despite GM Sam Presti doing his best to put the talk to rest.

Brooks never let it get to him.

"I knew it would work out," Brooks said. "This is where I wanted to be. This is the best situation for me. I couldn't ask for a better place to coach, to live, and I'm excited about the opportunity ahead of me."

Brooks has helped shape the Thunder into a championship contender since taking over 13 games into the team's inaugural season in Oklahoma City. He took over when the team was 1-12, helping them to finish 23-59 in 2008-09.

Since then the Thunder has made the playoffs three-consecutive seasons, including two Western Conference Finals berths and an NBA Finals appearance this past season.

"I believe in players. I believe that you have to figure out ways to get them better and you have to look at their weaknesses and address their weaknesses but you don't focus on all of their weaknesses. You improve those areas but then you bring it all together," Brooks said. "I've always felt the best coaches that I've had are the ones that empowered me to think that I was a little bit better than I was. I've always felt that if you're able to do that, the players are going to give you more than they think they can give you."

Brooks has long been considered a natural fit to lead the young team and shape its core, something Presti said has been a huge asset to the organization.

"I think his contributions are enormous. We wouldn't be in this situation, where we feel really good about our future, without him," Presti said. "He's got a great understanding of the organization and a big part of that is because he's helped construct it."

The delay in his signing was mostly in part to the narrow window of opportunity following the Thunder's NBA Finals loss to the Miami Heat.

"It would have probably gotten done earlier if we didn't make the playoffs or went (out in) the first round," Brooks said, "but it was a good problem to have."

By the time OKC's season ended, there were only eight days left to negotiate a new deal.

"When the season ended, we could really put all of our attention on it. I feel like we got it done fairly expeditiously but ... sometimes these things take time," Presti said. "There's a lot more conversation that has to happen in order to make it come to fruition."

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