The Thunder make a huge decision for the future of their franchise

Despite leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to three Western Conference Finals appearances and the 2012 NBA Finals, head coach Scott Brooks has been fired, according to a statement made by the team’s general manager, Sam Presti, just moments ago.

After losing James Harden to the Houston Rockets following the 2012 season, the Thunder’s core of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka was expected to continue to contend for NBA titles for years to come. However, major injuries to both Durant and Westbrook during the last two playoff runs have left the Thunder unable to fully compete, and this year, they missed the playoffs entirely.

All week, there has been speculation that Brooks might not make it to next season, and two NCAA coaches–Florida’s Billy Donovan and UConn’s Kevin Ollie–were rumored to be front-runners for Brooks’ job, but Ollie released a statement today that he is fully committed to remaining Connecticut’s coach next season, opening the door for another viable candidate.

It’ll be interesting to see how this decision plays a role–if it plays one at all–in the major decision Kevin Durant has to make next summer, when he will be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.