scott brooks

For Brooks, everyone is clamoring for dramatic change now. They want Harden moved into the starting lineup, and he’s wisely not doing it. He understands his young team pressed at home, that the Thunder were caught up in the euphoria of a city that had never imagined hosting the NBA Finals so quickly. To lose Game 2 and then shift Harden into the starting lineup would exude a measure of panic that is the furthest thing from what these Thunder need now.

What’s more, Brooks is still working to solidify his own future as Oklahoma City coach. GM Sam Presti wants him back when his contract expires at the end of the Finals, but league sources say Presti has offered a three-year deal worth just under $11 million that Brooks and his agent weren’t willing to accept in the past. They’ve set aside talks for the playoffs, and compromise could come with a guaranteed fourth year. The Thunder needed to see Brooks take one more step with this young team before committing too far into the long term, and Brooks delivered with a conference final victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

It isn’t beyond possibility that Brooks tries to use the Portland and Orlando jobs as leverage at season’s end, but it’s hard to imagine him walking away from this Thunder core – with or without a title.

– Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports