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May 2, 2015 Updates

But many league observers think there are valid reasons for the seemingly slow pace of the Magic's coaching search. The theory mentioned most often revolves around current Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. The league observers speculate that the Magic want to see whether the Bulls and Thibodeau will part ways after the Bulls conclude their playoff run. Orlando Sentinel

League observers caution that Thibodeau's hire by the Magic would not be a given even if Thibodeau becomes a coaching free agent. Indeed, there are two potential candidates with extensive head-coaching résumés who have strong ties to the Magic. Orlando Sentinel

"It's been a complete whirlwind for me the last four or five days," Donovan said. "I am extremely thankful the way [Thunder general manager Sam Presti] laid out the organization to me over about a two-and-a-half-day period because, to be honest with you, I really did not know a lot about the Oklahoma City Thunder. I knew of Sam, I obviously knew of the players and organization, but I didn't know what it was about. And it was that -- that really made me turn my head when I started to find out more, that I think the qualities, the values, what this organization is about is directly in line and mirrors what I believe." ESPN.com

“I don’t think Lionel’s going anywhere, so that’s definitely reassuring,” Williams said. “You never know what’s gonna happen in the offseason, but it’s good to know you’re gonna have the same coach, and if we keep most of our guys, we’ll have something to build on for once. We’ve had the same core, but we’ve [been semi-] healthy and [rarely] played together under the same system, so hopefully we can build on things.” ESPN.com

“We wanted to identify a person with the traits associated with high achieving leaders in their respective fields; a continuous learning mentality, the ability to adapt, evolve and innovate, intrinsically motivated, humility, and great tactical competence,” Presti said in a statement released by the team. “While we created a comprehensive analysis regarding the qualities we were looking for, it became quite evident that Billy was the ideal fit for the Thunder as we look to transition our team into the future.” Washington Post

May 1, 2015 Updates

Lots of opinions about the Thunder hire of Billy Donovan. But my favorite NBA analyst is David Thorpe, a former coach who now works with players individually -- he's worked with Serge Ibaka -- and is a regular contributor to truehoop blog. Thorpe talked about Donovan in an interview with Henry Abott, which you can read here. And here's what Thorpe says about Donovan. He's like Scotty Brooks. And Thorpe says that's a good thing. "I think he's going to be, oh boy, excuse me for saying this. I think it's going to be a lot like Scotty Brooks. I love Scotty Brooks. I think he's (Donovan) going to be a lot like him. I don't think he's the most creative offensive coach. That's the worst thing I can say about him. Guys are going to love playing for him. He's going to definitely preach defense. He'll probably get guys to share better than what they did in Oklahoma City, and if they can't, then we'll know it was just the players all along anyway." Oklahoman

"He's going to be really consistent with his message," Thorpe said of Donovan. "He used to be a maniac as a coach. By the way, so was I and pretty much every guy in their 20s coaching. Billy is really poised and mature with his guys. We're not best friends or anything, I've known him for probably 20some odd years now. But it was just a year ago, Florida had won 30 straight games. They were Kentucky a year ago without the NBA players. Had won 30 straight, then just got exhausted by the time the Final Four came around. But his guys will compete. He's the best coach in college, I think, in terms of getting his guys to really understand spacing. In the NBA, that will work out even better. That's a talent that he has. He knows how to talk to players and get into them and get the best out of them. I think he's more like Scotty Brooks. Again, I think that's a good thing. He'll be a different voice, he has a different way about him. He's a New York guy and all of that. So the end result will be positive. They're a really talented team, which is why I think he's going in the first place." Oklahoman

And Donovan's answers frequently steered into the importance of relationships. "At the core, we all want to be loved, we all want to be accepted and we all want to be appreciated for who we are," Donovan told The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel in this one-on-one interview. "Every human being on the face of the earth is yearning to be understood and have relationships. I think sometimes when you look at Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook it's so easy to see them as these iconic, unbelievably talented basketball players, which they are. But they're also human beings, too." Oklahoman

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