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Mike Dunlap fired as Bobcats coach after one season

Apr 23, 2013, 2:19 PM EST

Mike Dunlap AP

The Charlotte Bobcats were not going to win a lot of games this season if Red Auerbach and John Wooden rose from the dead to co-coach the team. There just wasn’t enough talent.

But Mike Dunlap in his one year could not seem to reach what players he did have to the satisfaction of ownership and the team has fired him after one season, it announced Tuesday.

“Rich Cho and I conducted our season-ending review and met with coach Dunlap to reflect on this season. As an organization, it was decided that we needed to make a change with the head coach position,” president of basketball operations Rod Higgins said in a released statement. “We want to thank Mike for his contribution and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Dunlap was an off-the-radar hire, he had been an assistant at St. John’s University the season before. It was hoped he would connect with the young players, but that didn’t pan out.

The Bobcats went 21-61 last season, the second worst record in the NBA. Remember they got off to a fast 7-5 start, but after that fell apart. While it was a mess, at least that was an improvement over 2012, when they won seven of 66 games, the lowest winning percentage in NBA history (.106).

As for replacements, again look for the Bobcats to go with a young coach. You may think working for Michael Jordan is a draw, but for a coach with options the things that are draws are franchises willing to pay top dollar (the Bobcats are small market and not big spenders) and those with a lot of young talent (strike two for Charlotte). Stan Van Gundy isn’t walking through that door. What they do have are some nice young players (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for one), more than $20 million in cap space and another top 5 draft pick this year. Charlotte is a multi-year rebuilding project and the Bobcats are better off with a young coach who seems to connect with his players even while they struggle. Jacque Vaughn did that in Orlando, for example — they only won 20 games but that team played hard for Vaughn.

  1. submessagesband - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Phil Jackson next?? Dont count that out with MJ as owner…

  2. bg4866 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    A few things here Michael Jordan is a disaster as a person in charge of a Basketball team, he was awful in Washington (Kawame Brown # 1 overall pick, Leonard Hamilton head coach, Adam Morrison #3 pick I think) just horrendous, I hope coach Dunlap winds up back at St. Johns, as a fan of the Redmen we could use him

  3. eugenesaxe - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Coaching isn’t the problem in Charlotte.

  4. kingbeason52 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Even though the Bobcats have been the worst in the league consecutive years..I am suprised Dunlap got the boot..He got one full season and one shortened season..I just dont think that is enough to fully evaluate..I think that this is just further proof that we will be seeing the Charlotte Hornets next year..

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      He only got one season, this year. The coach in the lockout season was Paul Silas. Even more reason to question if they gave up too soon.

  5. cantonbound13 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Just quit now MJ. You don’t want to be though of as a loser like Isiah.

    • bg4866 - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      he is just as bad as Isiah as a front office person

  6. fruitcovejag - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Not sure that too many candidates will be willing to coach these guys considering how little NBA talent they have coupled with the short leash.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      They have talent: Kemba, Gerald, Ben (when he wants to play), young Bismack is a stud and Jeff Taylor is a nice role player. They’re building, but Dunlap is NOT the guy for this job.

      • weaselpuppy - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:55 PM

        Young Bismack- Floor? Jonathon Petro. Ceiling? Theo Ratliff. Stud? Ummmm, no.

        Gerald?- Bench 2

        Ben?- washed up Bench 2

        Kemba- Michael Adams

        MKG- poor man’s Luol Deng w/o the jump shot.

        You get that the reason they have the worst 2 year stretch in league history is both because the player suck and MJ sucks, yes? No? Yes, they do. badly.

  7. coltzfan166 - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    This was a ridiculous hire in the first place

  8. 13arod - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    i would sign stan van gardy former magic head couch

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      Should have pursued him to begin with. Dunlap was in over his head from the beginning. Jordan was trying to be cheap and got cheap results.

  9. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Yawn. This was coming for weeks. When he and Ben Gordon got into that spat, and then the team (other than Kemba, who’s playing for pride, and Gerald, a near-max contract) flat out tuned him out and tanked.

  10. patfic15 - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Charlotte is absolutely horrible. Period.

  11. blantoncollier - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Just call this team the Charlotte Clippers. They will continue to lose, continue to hire young coaches no one else would hire. One day they might get lucky in the draft and explode. But until then–there is always Duke and UNC to keep basketball fans in North Carolina.

  12. dirtydrew - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    This team is in need of new ownership. The Bobcats had the worst season in history last year. Like this season was the coaches fault. I loved Rod Higgins as a player, but he is a bad gm.

  13. nghtrder169 - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Poor guy had no chance… 1 word – Biyombo… Lol

  14. jeff6381 - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Nobody is going to want that job because you are not going to win with that roster and the moves being made. Making the coach the escape goat isn’t a good look.

  15. erckle31 - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    This is the one head coaching job I hope David Shaw doesn’t get/want. Good lord, this organization will be a cellar dweller for years to come. MJ, just throw in your towel.

  16. dalucks - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Charlotte should rename the Bobcats to the Disaster because that is what they have been since they have returned to Charlotte.

  17. wwttww - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Charlotte makes Atlanta look good.

  18. djlexluger - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    MJ is not the problem. Cho and Rod Higgins are.

    • weaselpuppy - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:57 PM

      Yah, becaue in Washington the problem wasn’t MJ, it was “fill in excuse here”…

      at least Isaiah’s Knicks won games….

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:32 PM

        isiah was worse.

  19. hahapapa - Apr 23, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Please take a look at Tyrone Corbin for your next coach.

  20. bux1022 - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Just another example of watering down the NBA. Sorry, small markets shouldn’t have professional teams period. Let them have NASCAR!

  21. cpanthersfan - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Yeah they should strip okc of their franchise too…just remember bfore okc it was the hive in charlotte…change the name mj…it aint rocket science

  22. sportsnut101 - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Stop hiring ur buddies who always gonna agree with u Jordan Huggins needs to go as well. Cho can stick around another yr

    But why this team didn’t sign iverson n Kmart n tmac. I bet they woulda been much better then what they put on the floor now. Is their a reason a team rather lose 60 games again then sign vets on 1 yr deals for cheap who can play better then these guys

    Ben Gordon wishes he woulda signed with the bulls
    Kemba walker can play.
    G Henderson can play part time he Neva shows up all the time
    Stop drafting or signing duke or carolina guys plss no more.

  23. tiger7575 - Apr 24, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Dunlap deserves much better than this group of misfits,
    He is a proven winner and a hard worker. The NBA will never reward hard work, guaranteed contracts to young men that come from horrible backgrounds and have lots
    Of hangers on, oh yeah that’s a good idea.

  24. badintent - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:35 AM

    Local AAU coach is MJ’s next hire.Maybe he can get the guy that coached LBJ in AAU

  25. louhudson23 - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    So the man was fired from his job of babysitting a group of overgrown adolescents with a profound inability to take or understand instruction or any sort of critique whatsoever…..I hope he sleeps better tonight…..

    • badintent - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:22 AM

      Thats why I nominated a AAU coach, he deals with teenagers.Hope he got some checks coming to him like Mike Brown did.

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