"Today was tough for me," Durant said. "While I support our team's decision 100 percent and look forward to the upcoming season and the future in OKC, Scotty was my coach and a friend for the past seven seasons. We accomplished a lot together, and those times will never be taken away from us. I grew as both a man and a ball player under his guidance and for that I will be forever grateful. I wish nothing but the best for him and his family, who have also been such a big part of this city and organization. I know he will be very successful in wherever his next steps in life are."
The Thunder finished the season 45-37 but missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons and the first time with Brooks as coach of the team for a full season. Durant was limited to 27 games while dealing with ongoing foot issues.
"He rallied us, made sure we were all emotionally stable," Durant said.
"As a coach and as a friend, I think he does a great job," Westbrook said.
Durant added that he was disappointed he wasn't able to finish the season to help the team due to his foot injury.
"I'm definitely pissed," he said. "I can't wait for the first game [next season]."
Durant missed the first seven weeks of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. Durant returned and played in 27 games, but complications began to arise and he was forced to undergo bone graft surgery, which ended his season.
Despite the lingering foot issue, Bell said Durant should not only return to the dominant player he was before sustaining the injury, but he will be back in time for next season.
"Despite the failure of his foot to cooperate with the initial plan following his original injury, medical evidence suggests that Durant's chances for a successful return next season are very high," Bell said.
Durant will be sidelined for the rest of the season and is expected to resume basketball activities in four to six months.
"Not what I envisioned coming into this season," Durant said on his Instagram account. "But I'm here and ready to conquer this journey. I've heard it all over the last few weeks, but I'm not here to prove anything to anybody, I'm battling myself. When quit and negativity are staring me in my face, I will stay strong and disciplined."
In 27 games this season, Durant averaged 25.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists.
After consulting with two specialists this week, the team and Durant came to the conclusion that a bone graft procedure would be the best approach to repair the Jones fracture that Durant suffered.
Dr. Martin O'Malley will perform the surgery next week in New York and Durant is expected to return to basketball activities in four-to-six months. Durant averaged 25.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game before the injury.
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