Russell Westbrook's Brother Tweets Plea for Thunder to Fire Coach Scott Brooks

Stephen Babb@@StephenBabbFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2014

Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks, right, speaks with Russell Westbrook during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot

It's been a wildly successful season for the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the critics were bound to emerge on the heels of a 2-1 series deficit against the Memphis Grizzlies.

But who knew Russell Westbrook's brother, Ray, would be one of those critics following Game 3's 98-95 loss in Memphis. 

OKC's point guard had 30 points in Game 3, but he was an inefficient 9-of-26 from the field, 4-of-13 from three and 8-of-12 from the line. Kevin Durant wasn't much better, with 30 points of his own on 10-of-27 from the floor, 0-of-8 from downtown and 10-of-13 from the charity stripe.  

To be fair, Westbrook's brother isn't the only one who's frustrated with head coach Scott Brooks. The Thunder failed to control the pace in Game 3, and the half-court offense seemed fresh out of ideas.

MEMPHIS, TN - APRIL 24: Kevin Durant #35 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder address the media after Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2014 at FedEx
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Some have even suggested that Brooks is coaching for his job.

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While discussing Steve Kerr's coaching options on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, ESPN analyst Bill Simmons suggested that Kerr should wait for more coaching opportunities to pop up. He said that OKC's post might be one of them (via NewsOK's Erik Horne):

If you and I were Steve Kerr, we would wait until this Round 1 ended. If the Rockets lose Round 1, (Kevin) McHale’s not coming back. Golden State loses Round 1 to the Clippers, I don’t think Mark Jackson is coming back. If Oklahoma City doesn’t make it out of Round 1 against Memphis for some reason, I don’t think Scott Brooks comes back.

Could Brooks really be on the outs after all of the success he's experienced in Oklahoma City?

In this league, anything can happen—especially to coaches. The most important variable may be keeping superstars happy, in this case Westbrook and Durant. There's no telling to what extent Westbrook's sentiment is actually reflected by his brother's tweet. For all we know, they could be on very different pages.

But we also don't know much about what's going on inside Oklahoma City's locker room. If there's disaffection, it certainly hasn't been widely publicized.

Brooks has two years remaining on a deal he signed with the Thunder in 2012. OKC would owe him about $8 million if it severed ties after this season.

The Thunder would also have to find a coach with the pedigree to lead a team back to the NBA Finals. That may or may not mean someone like Kerr, who has no previous coaching experience but was a successful general manager for the Phoenix Suns.

What's more, Russell Westbrook was quick to distance himself from his siblings comments:

This much is certain: Brooks is facing the same reality that all coaches in the NBA face. Winning is the bottom line, and coming up short in the postseason can be a huge red flag. 

Fortunately for Brooks, Westbrook's brother won't be making this particular decision.

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