Dean's Blog: Donovan's Hiring Will Be Graded Based On KD's 2016 Decision
OKLAHOMA CITY - So it's done. No drama really. And no matter what anyone says today or tomorrow – yea or nay -- what really matters in the Scott Brooks-out and Billy Donovan-in process, is what Kevin Durant says after next season. The hiring of Donovan is about winning and building enough trust with the once-in-a-franchise talent that he'll sign a contract extension and help the franchise avoid potential devastation.
News 9 officially broke the story of the hiring this morning around 10:30 a.m. And with a guy who backed out of his other professional experience after one day on the job, every step at this point is critical. National reports had GM Sam Presti meeting with his decade-long pal Tuesday in Gainesville with contract negotiations continuing Wednesday. It's believed Donovan is in OKC right now.
Durant reportedly spoke with multiple NBA players who played for Donovan at Florida. Word is he received information that made him comfortable with the hire (oh, I almost forgot. KD didn't know anything and had zero role at all in this. Ha! All I know is if Presti signed a college coach and didn't have the blessing of his franchise player he should be fired).
But I continue to believe in Presti while some enthusiastic pontificators seem to bring up his mistakes and minimize his amazing draft success and contend if OKC doesn't win the title next season that “they gotta fire the guy.”
Everyone I've talked to in basketball circles during this process has expressed a similar theme-- great guy, brilliant, crazy hard worker, remarkable offensive mind, into analytics, destined for NBA. Didn't matter if it was a head college coach, one of three NBA scouts, NBA head coaches, or agents, everyone agreed it made sense. Especially if paired with Presti.
But several brought up the opinion that I share. That this is a risk. Riskier than hiring a San Antonio assistant or other names mentioned in the past week? No, unless you believed Coach K was leaving his fiefdom and grandkids behind at near seventy and head to God's Country.
So I'm in. With an asterisk. ******