It’s fair to say the Charlotte Bobcats are a colossal mess, and that designation isn’t going to change any time soon. New broke on Tuesday that the franchise will part ways with head coach Mike Dunlap after just one season, throwing the team further into turmoil.
Dunlap went 21-61 in his first year on the job, guiding the Bobcats to the second-worst record in the NBA, ahead of only the Orlando Magic. That said, under Dunlap, Charlotte won 14 more games than it did during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season when the team went 7-59.
Bobcats president of basketball operations, Rod Higgins, announced the move and said the search for a replacement will start immediately.
Dunlap was the fifth coach in franchise history, and was the fourth different hire made since Michael Jordan took over ownership of the club in 2006. Bernie Bickerstaff, Sam Vincent, Larry Brown and Paul Silas all failed to win in Charlotte, and whoever comes next is unlikely to do any better The franchise has been poorly managed since its inception.
General manager Rich Cho and Higgins hired Dunlap away from St. John’s where he was working as an assistant. That made him the first person to jump from an assistant coaching position in college to a head coaching spot in the NBA. How anyone expected that to turn out well is beyond me.
Dunlap was never going to work out, but the problems the Bobcats have run much deeper than who is patrolling the sidelines. The franchise has not drafted well or made good personnel decisions.
The team has a nice young core that consists of Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bismack Biyombo. But Jordan, Cho and Higgins need to bring in a coach for the long haul and trust him to develop players. Changing systems every few years will only serve to hinder the team’s development.
Most people should have seen the Dunlap firing coming. He wasn’t popular with his players and his style of coaching just doesn’t fit in the NBA. The Bobcats need to find someone who is going to be around for more than just a season or two or things will never get better.