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Billy Donovan gets honest on Thunder exit


The Oklahoma City Thunder and Billy Donovan mutually parted ways earlier this month, ending a five-year partnership. Before fully moving forward as the Chicago Bulls’ head coach, Donovan shared his thoughts on his exit from the Thunder.

Donovan dispelled the rumors that he was already looking for a “ready-made team” for the title. According to him, what mattered to him was the environment and the overall state of affairs.

“I’d like to keep my conversations in Oklahoma there. I’ve got great respect for everybody there. I think those were things that were put out there about how I felt about a rebuild or not a rebuild, or I was looking for a ready-made team — that was really never ever about it for me,” Donovan said, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN. “It was a lot more important for me, knowing my time had ended there, what was going to be the environment and the situation going forward.

Billy Donovan added that he had an open line of communication with the Thunder organization and general manager Sam Presti. All in all, he enjoyed his five-year stint with the Thunder — a tenure that featured five consecutive playoff appearances.

“I’ve never ever really talked about that at all. I do feel like Oklahoma City was incredibly open and honest with me, and we talked extensively, and I really appreciate that from the organization, and from [GM] Sam [Presti], and I really, really enjoyed the group of players that I worked with all five years.”

Now, Donovan’s task is to lead a young Bulls squad led by Zach LaVine. He’ll definitely take those good experiences with Oklahoma City with him as he leads a new crew.