OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – General manager Sam Presti dismissed reports that 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson or former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy could be the next coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, saying an extension with Scott Brooks is a top priority.
“To me, it’s rubbish,” Presti said Sunday when asked about an ESPN report that Jackson and Van Gundy were being considered as options if Brooks couldn’t be re-signed.
Brooks led Oklahoma City to the NBA Finals last season, but his current contract runs out at the end of the month. He has overseen a steady development since taking over the Thunder early in the 2008-09 season.
After winning 23 games that first season, Brooks took Oklahoma City to the playoffs in 2010, then to the Western Conference finals in 2011 before this season’s five-game loss to the Miami Heat in the finals.
Jackson is retired but has left the door open to returning in the right circumstances. Van Gundy is now a commentator for ESPN and ABC.