Brooks, who said he hasn’t been informed of which direction Presti will go, also has won over the Thunder’s locker room. Several players openly endorse his return, citing his positive demeanor through what’s been a trying season.
Since Brooks’ first game as interim coach on Nov. 22 at New Orleans, the mood in the locker room has been noticeably lighter, and players have been more relaxed in practices over the past two months.
"The way we’re playing now is the best we’ve played throughout the whole season,” said Jeff Green. "He’s gotten us to the point where we can play against any team. But he’s just been positive...I think he’s worked hard for the spot if he gets it, so my vote is behind him.”
Brooks said Sunday night that he’s settling into the job after getting over what he called "odd emotions of taking over for P.J.”
"I’m getting comfortable in my role, but I know I have to continue to get better like our team has to continue to get better,” Brooks said. "It’s an opportunity for me to improve every game...It’s a challenging position, but it’s a position that every assistant coach dreams about.”