Posted April 23, 2013

Bobcats fire coach Mike Dunlap

Ben Golliver, Charlotte Bobcats, Michael Jordan, Mike Dunlap, Rich Cho, Rod Higgins
Mike Dunlap has reportedlly been fired by the Bobcats. (Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Mike Dunlap has reportedly been fired by the Bobcats. (Marc Serota/Getty Images)

The Bobcats fired coach Mike Dunlap after just one season on Tuesday. Dunlap will not return to the Bobcats’ bench after the team finished 21-61, the second-worst record in the NBA.

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

Dunlap, 55, was hired in June 2012 after reportedly beating out Brian Shaw and Quin Snyder. Dunlap, a former Nuggets assistant, had been serving as an assistant coach for St. John’s and his hire was greeted with surprise and some skepticism given his lack of NBA head-coaching experience.

In March, the Charlotte Observer reported that owner Michael Jordan told season-ticket holders that “everyone in the organization will be evaluated” and that he would not commit to retaining Dunlap. Before the February trade deadline, Dunlap reportedly had an exchange at a shootaround with veteran guard Ben Gordon, who apparently talked back to his coach and would not stop bouncing a basketball as Dunlap spoke.

Charlotte opened the season 7-5 but went on to lose 18 straight games in November and December and 10 straight games in February and March. The Bobcats would have finished with the league’s worst record for the second straight season if not for a three-game winning streak to close the year.

The franchise has had a revolving door on the bench. Dunlap was the Bobcats’ fifth coach since the end of the 2006-2007 season, following Bernie Bickerstaff, Sam Vincent, Larry Brown and Paul Silas. Charlotte has advanced to the postseason just once in its nine-year history and has never won a playoff series.

Dunlap joins Byron Scott (fired by the Cavaliers), Lawrence Frank (fired by the Pistons) and Doug Collins (stepped down for the Sixers) as coaches who parted ways with their respective organizations since the end of the regular season.

12 comments
joeshine730
joeshine730

Bull crap Dunlap is a coaching bum. Dunlap ain't getting any college job and never was. What the hell is metro state? Never heard of it.

Steve Phillips
Steve Phillips

Josephine, you are an idiot! Mike was offered and turned down Arizona, helped with the Nuggets, led Metro State to Two national championships and is a class act! He will be offered a good college job and will again prove to be successful. I coached against Mike and know him to be an outstanding coach and a better person.

Lets see Brown, Bickerstaff, and Silas....all pretty good basketball people, all gone from a listless program with talent that could not beat half the D1 schools in the nation. Talk about contrition in the No Basketball Association, Charlotte would be at the top of the list!

joeshine730
joeshine730

Dunlop couldn't ever get a college job so Jordan hires this inept boob to coach a pro NBA team.  amazingly stupid.

Jameson
Jameson

I don't get franchises that don't have a roster, yet they keep firing coaches. The Bobs don't have a roster that can compete night in night out. No coach is going to win much with the current roster. Makes better economic and basketball sense to keep the coach,  continue to build the roster, and then evaluate the coach again. It takes time to build a roster (3 years minimum and that's if you hit on all of your drafts, a la OKC, longer if you don't, a la the Wizards) and it doesn't make sense to pay coaches to "not coach". Who knows what type of coach Dunlap is and my guess is that the Bobs don't know. If this is player related, no 20 win team has a player that should have enough influence to get a coach fired. Get new players. You can win 20 games without them.

marino.eccher
marino.eccher

Listen, if a guy can't win with weapons like Gerald Henderson, Ramon Sessions and Bismack Biyombo on the roster, you gotta let him go.

No idea if Dunlap deserved it or not, but it's a sign of an organization without a plan or much of a clue. This is the kind of trajectory that leads to relocation-level apathy. And it's also the reason Bulls fans are so excited about that unprotected first-rounder in 2016.

doublejtrain68
doublejtrain68

How could Brian Shaw be passed up for any head coaching gig? He is well respected around the league, and coached under Phil Jackson for years. Jordan was the greatest of all time as a player, but he is in over his head as an owner. 

David22
David22

The NBA has found their permanent replacement for the Clippers as perennial losers.

joeshine730
joeshine730

Dunlap couldn't find work as a college head coach and was a bum in the college ranks. Why hire him?? Jordan is not fit to be an owner.

SteveHampton
SteveHampton

Paul Silas was a bad hire because it reeked of placeholder.

Dunlap seemed like a cheap option for a lottery team.

They need to work on hiring a coach who is in step with management in the progression that needs to take place. Orlando had the worst record in the league, they expected it because of the rebuilding process, but they stuck with Vaughn because they see a future in him. Hire someone who will help oversee the construction of the franchise.

Hire Phil Jackson and fire Rich Cho. Then have Jackson hand pick his coach, ahem Brian Shaw. Then trade Tyrus Thomas, good god, trade Tyrus Thomas. Remind me, how did he end up with 8 mil a year again?

RandallAllen
RandallAllen

Any one of the three fired coaches--Collins isn't going to coach this year--would be an improvement for the Phoenix Suns. But it wouldn't surprise me if the Suns continue their slide into ineptitude, mediocrity, and irrelevance by retaining Lindsey Hunter, who the players reportedly don't want back.  The Suns need a major overhaul and Frank, Scott, or Dunlap (or all three?) would represent a move toward improvement after Alvin Gentry got the shaft by Blanks, Babby, & Sarver.

6marK6
6marK6

Has Jordan ever accomplished anything that requires a brain? He cannot manage a team or his own money. If this neanderthal did not have endorsement money he would be on skid row. He is the opposite of Magic Johnson.

pcwhite2
pcwhite2

@6marK6 

Harsh, but generally I agree.  Jordan is a known douch anyway, very a**hole-ish to people.  Magic is a personable guy, who planned out his future 30 years ago.  Jordan as an inept manager/owner may soon outshine his status as a court legend if he is not careful.