Earlier on Friday, we raised questions about whether or not retaining head coach Scott Brooks (who, technically, is a free agent in two weeks' time) would be the best move for the emerging Oklahoma City Thunder. Those worries, based around his rotation choices and less-than-stellar mid-Finals adjustments, will sustain for now. What's never been in question is our respect for the 2010 NBA Coach of the Year, and his ability to keep a young team fraught with all sorts of pressure from outside sources focused on doing things tactfully, and professionally.
And this video, taken towards the end of the last game of Oklahoma City's season, typifies this warming knowledge. Take a view:
NBA players are under no obligation to shake anyone's hand toward the end of a crushing defeat, be it in mid-January or the third week in June. But the hug between Kevin Durant and LeBron James after the final buzzer on Thursday was one of the more touching moments of the 2011-12 NBA season; and though Durant may have already decided to head over the Miami bench's way before Brooks' reminder, it's that sort of leadership and in-moment know-how that allows you to mentally sign off on doing something that you know is right.
Fine work, Scott Brooks.
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