The Oklahoma City Thunder officially hired Billy Donovan to become the successor for Scott Brooks and lead the Thunder before Kevin Durant hits free agency.
The two will be talked about hand-in-hand all season, as Durant’s decision will have the greatest impact on Oklahoma City’s future.
Donovan comes from Florida, where he was the head coach for the last 19 seasons. He won two national championships while coaching in four Final Fours. Donovan was the only one interviewed for the job.
“While we created a comprehensive analysis regarding the qualities we were looking for, it became quite evident that Billy was the ideal fit for the Thunder as we look to transition our team into the future,” Presti said in a statement. “… His emotional intelligence, commitment to the concept of team, and relentless approach to incremental improvement have allowed him to bring his players together and establish lasting relationships through competitive success. Billy’s core values and alignment with our culture and community, as well as his proven tactical abilities, make him an ideal addition to the Thunder organization.”
Donovan left what was comfortable in Florida for a challenge that offers a unique opportunity. He’ll take over a roster that is plenty capable of being the best team in the Western Conference and competing for an NBA championship.
“I am honored and humbled to be named the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder. I knew that it would take a unique opportunity to leave the University of Florida and that is clearly how I look at this situation,” Donovan said in a statement. “The Thunder represents so many of the values that I embrace as a head coach; the commitment to the team above oneself, the dedicated pursuit of excellence, the commitment to organizational culture, the identity they have established and the fact that the Thunder and the community are so intricately woven into the fabric of one another.”
Donovan left Florida for the NBA to take over the Orlando Magic, but returned to Florida days after the news conference introducing him as the Magic head coach.