Billy Donovan Rumors
On Monday morning, Durant and Westbrook went through a workout together on UCLA’s campus — under the watchful eye of Donovan — navigating through some individual shooting and skill drills. By Tuesday morning, in that same gym near Beverly Hills, the two superstars were joined by a load of teammates and support staff. Among those confirmed in attendance: Durant, Westbrook, Donovan, Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison, Steven Adams, Anthony Morrow, Dion Waiters, Kyle Singler, D.J. Augustin, rookie Cameron Payne, assistant coach Monty Williams and Blue coach Royal Ivey.
But it wasn’t just the obvious reason — that the Thunder possess a loaded roster — that convinced Donovan. It was that when Donovan sat down with Thunder general manager and longtime friend Sam Presti to discuss the job, he felt the same kind of connection he did with Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley. “The first time we really sat down and talked about this, [Sam] really laid out what the organization stood for, what it was about, what he envisioned going forward, what was important to him as a general manager, and I identified with all those things,” Donovan said. “I felt aligned with those things and I think I shared a lot of those same values with Sam. “Any time you’re working with somebody are you always going to agree? No. Are there going to be differences? Sure. But at the end of it, we’re moving in the same direction, and with Sam I really felt like that was going to be the case.”
Billy Donovan: “There’s certain adjustments. I’ve always watched the NBA game, thinking about the game all the time; there’s a lot of nuances that I think most of the changes in the game start in the NBA level and they trickle down. I’ve always spent time talking to a lot of NBA coaches, and I’ve always said this: There’s certain things that work in the NBA that don’t work in college. And there’s certain things in college that don’t work in the NBA.
So there’s going to be certain things that I have, that have been a staple for me at Florida, but it may not be the best thing here, or it may not work here. And those are the things that I think you have to identify when you’re watching tape, what you’re seeing go on here at summer league that you say, ‘You know what, as much as I believed in that in college, this is not something that is probably going to be a very good carryover. And there are a lot of things that can carry over, but there are those things that aren’t going to carry over, and to Brad’s point — you can’t jump out there and just hard show like you do in college a lot of times. We played the pick-and-roll two different ways in college. We’d push on the sidelines as much as we could and we got up to the level of the screen, but against some personnel in the pick-and-roll, you can’t always do that.
“Certainly there’s not as many post-ups as there used to be years ago in the NBA, but I don’t think that necessarily the big man is out of the game. I still think you’re going to see teams go inside. Listen, I think one of the things to look at is the NBA draft, right? Look at it early, they’re all taking bigs! So there’s value and premium on big men, but certainly there are certain situations where you can play a little bit small, and Kevin’s done that in his career. Kevin’s played the 2, he’s played the 3, he’s played the 4. They’ve moved him at the 4 and played smaller, moved Serge to the 5. I think you’ve got to be able to have flexibility inside your roster to be able to do those things sometimes.