Scott Brooks has been named the Oklahoma City Thunder’s interim coach for the remainder of the season. General manager Sam Presti fired coach P.J. Carlesimo following Friday night’s 105-80 loss to the New Orleans Hornets. Presti gave Brooks his first head coaching job rather than hiring an unemployed veteran NBA coach like Avery Johnson, Flip Saunders or Jeff Van Gundy. “Scott is someone I feel will bring great preparedness and energy, abilities and experience to our basketball team,” Presti said during a Saturday afternoon teleconference. “I’m excited to see him work with our players. I think he will be great for our team and our community.” The Thunder has a league-worst 1-12 record and is riding a 10-game losing streak heading into Saturday night’s game at New Orleans. The average margin of defeat during the streak has been 14 points and Oklahoma City fell behind by at least 30 points at some point in five of those games. A 25-point loss Friday at home to the Hornets apparently was the last straw. Presti said he informed Carlesimo of the change after Friday's game. “Obviously, change is not easy," Presti said. "As we go through this it will be important that our team, our staff and everyone involved pulls together as we try to get things pushed in the right direction. I’m confident that we will. “We felt we needed to take a different direction. We were not seeing the progress or improvement we felt was necessary for our team at this stage. We decided making a change was necessary at this point.” Talk of defensive improvement evaporated during the losing streak. The Thunder has allowed 100 points or more the past seven games. The team entered Saturday's games rank 25th in the NBA in points allowed (101.2), 29th in scoring (88.9), and last in field-goal percentage (40.4) and turnovers (17 per game). Carlesimo began the season by apologizing for the Thunder's poor effort in a season-opening home loss to Milwaukee, and found himself answering questions on the same topic this week following three straight home losses. “That’s something we’ve been looking at,” Presti said. “When there is some question in that regard that’s certainly a concern. There’s accountability with everybody. That’s something we feel is not negotiable. We have to play hard and put in ourselves in positions to compete and win basketball games. “There were a number of factors making a decision like this. They’re not easy decisions. There’s no good feeling about making them. But we have a job to do, we made a decision and we’ll move forward.” Presti said the primary reason he made the decision Friday night was the team has Sunday and Monday off, two days to allow Brooks to connect with the team following the return trip from New Orleans. Brooks, 43, is viewed as one of the league’s top assistant coaches. He was the runner-up for the Sacramento Kings vacancy two years ago when the Kings chose Reggie Theus. “I was that close,” Brooks was quoted in July 2007. “Close enough to know that I was qualified to get it. I know I’m qualified to come in and coach. I don’t try to fool or trick anybody or try to have this incredible interview. I am what I am. I’ll tell you exactly how I feel and that was good enough to get a second interview (with the Kings).” A 5-foot-10 overachiever who was a backup NBA point guard for 10 seasons, with six different teams, Brooks is in second season with the organization. He also was an assistant three years with the Denver Nuggets and spent one season in Sacramento before joining the Sonics/Thunder. “Scott Brooks brings an interesting blend of skills,” Presti said. “First, as a former player, he has experience with a lot of different teams. He’s played for a number of quality head coaches and has been on several staffs on the NBA level. “His ability as a point guard I think will really benefit him and our players. He’s essentially thinking the game because he was responsible for running a team on the floor. He has great passion. He has great skills with the players in terms of communication. He’s somebody I think our fans and the community will enjoy as they get to know him.” Carlesimo was 21-74 in his brief tenure with the Sonics/Thunder. He is 204-296, a .408 winning percentage, in eight seasons as an NBA coach, first with Portland, then Golden State. He guided last year’s Seattle SuperSonics to a franchise-worst 20-62 record in his first full season with the team. “It isn’t about one person,” Presti said. “There’s accountability for everybody involved — players, coaches, myself. We understand that. We feel we have a group of players that we’re confident in. We feel these guys are guys we want to support. But they also understand we have high expectations of them as well. The Thunder’s only win was a three-point victory on Nov. 2 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are third-to-last in the Western Conference with a 2-9 record. After showing defensive improvement over last season the first six games, OKC has allowed 100 points or more its last seven games. “I want to thank P.J. for his work and his effort with the organization,” Presti said. “He’s a good basketball man and a very good person. These decisions are not easy for anybody.” Presti was noncommittal on Carlesimo’s future following the end of last year’s tumultuous season, leading many to wonder how long the coach would be around in spite of the team’s rebuilding efforts. Brooks averaged 4.9 points, 2.4 assists and 1.0 rebounds over an 11-year career from 1988-89 with Philadelphia, Minnesota, Houston, Dallas, New York and Cleveland. He owns an NBA ring, having played on the Houston Rockets 1993-94 NBA title team. He went undrafted and played one season in CBA, being named to the CBA All-Rookie team, before his NBA career.