Scott Brooks: "My interest is in Wizards players not Kevin Durant"

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After missing out on the playoffs this year, the Washington Wizards wasted no time in making some important changes to reshape the franchise after a disappointing campaign. 

Head coach Randy Wittman was relieved of his duties and the team quickly picked up one of the most coveted coaches on the market, Scott Brooks. 

Brooks has been out of the game for a year after being fired by the Oklahoma City Thunder, despite a record of 338-207 during his seven years in charge.

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He guided the Thunder to an NBA finals during his stint and helped nurture the talents of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who are now among the top five players in the league.

It is no secret that Washington native Durant will be a free agent this summer and the arrival of Brooks in Washington has intensified the speculation that KD may be heading to his hometown team.

It came as no surprise to Brooks that this question was posed to him just 15 minutes into his introductory press conference with the Wizards, but the experienced coach was more than ready.

"I'm excited about the team, guys," Brooks told the reporters with a grin. "We have a great group of guys. I understand the question. But I'm excited about the group of guys we have here. When this season ended, when I was looking around, I knew that this is the place I wanted to be."

Durant will be the highest-profile free agent since LeBron James in 2010 and if he does decide to leave Oklahoma City, a chance to work with his former coach in his city, as well as playing with All-Star point guard John Wall, could be an attractive option. 


Under Brooks, the Wizards' immediate aim for next season will be to return to the postseason and in order to do that, the new coach feels they must show an improvement on one end of the floor.

Defensively, Washington allowed 104.6 points per game with their opponents shooting 40.6 percent from the field, something which Brooks wants to address immediately.

"I believe in two-way basketball teams," Brooks said. "It's going to take time and commitment. Scoring's fun, but it's hard to win night in and night out on a consistent level against competitive teams if you're just thinking about playing one end of the floor."

As a player, the 50-year-old was a point guard and helped to develop Westbrook into the player he is today and under his tutelage, Wall can expect to elevate his game too. 

At 25, Wall is already one of the elite point guards in the league and averaged career-best numbers of 19.9 points, 10.2 assists and, 4.9 rebounds per game last campaign, but his new coach still sees room for more growth.

"He has another level -- maybe two or three more levels," Brooks said. "We won't agree on everything, but John and the rest of the guys will understand one thing: that we will find the best way to move forward on all situations."

Just like in OKC, Brooks will have a talented duo to build his team around with Wall and Bradley Beal forming one of the best backcourts in the NBA. If he can have the same impact on them as he did with KD and Westbrook, there could be success heading the way of the nation's capital.

Bradley Beal
Washington Wizards
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
John Wall

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