The Scott Brooks era began with a beat-down in the Big Easy on Saturday night; 109-97 as Chris Paul unleashed a triple-double on the bumbling Blunder. Paul exploded for 29 points, 16 assists and ten rebounds and David West added a season-high 33 points to delight Hornet's fans. Future ex-Blunder Kevin Durant led OKC, as always, with 30 points on a strong 11-16 shooting performance. Nick Collison led the Blunder lowlights with 4 points on 1-4 shooting in 25 minutes. Chris Wilcox added five fouls to lead the Blunder. The Hornets are 7-5 and gaining momentum. The Blunder are 1-13 and gaining notoriety.
The Blunder fired PJ Carlesimo on Saturday, a move about as shocking as a sunny day in Phoenix. Scott Brooks is the latest low-rent captain to be given the wheel of the OKCTitanic. Welcome aboard Scott - grab a bucket and start bailing water. You're the new fall guy, replacing the previous hired fall guy; P.J. Carlisimo.
Firing PJ was clearly the right thing to do. He's never proven himself to be a great coach or motivator and he's divisive, which fit Bennett's plan of not winning games in Seattle. Handing him the keys to coach a decimated team replete with youth was absurd. He was not hired to turn this team into a winner, but to ensure they would sink in Seattle. Bennett's plan was to find his real coach after the move to OKC. Let's be real here - hiring PJ made no sense to anyone at the time. The young players need a leader they could rally around, a guy they could relate to and a guy who could motivate them - PJ was never any of those, which is exactly why he was hired. It fit in with perfectly with Bennett's plan of team implosion. I am not saying he does not know the game - clearly he does, but Dwayne Casey was the obvious choice at the time. However, that would have gotten the team and fans excited - so it was PJ all the way. Of course, it is entirely possible Bennett thought PJ was the right choice and that angle can be argued, but it's a dubious coincidence that his bumbling coaching decision perfectly compliments an agenda to move a team.
I find the timing of the firing interesting...the day after ESPN's nationally televised Blunder beat-down. I hate to give Bennett credit for being tactical, but waiting until after the ESPN game was the smart move. You don't want the ESPN announcers focusing on the negative - and firing a coach right before that game would have done precisely that. The last thing OKC needed was more negative reviews of the move that some are calling the worst in sports. I get the feeling that Stern had input into the timing of the decision.
Of course, the argument could be made that being embarrassed like that on national TV was the final straw for PJ. Maybe it was. But I simply never believed anyone, including Bennett, truly thought PJ was the right coach. It was all part of 'The Plan'. Well, 'The Plan' is 1-13 in OKC and losers of 11 in a row.
Next loss: Phoenix