In two rather surprising coaching moves this week, the Charlotte Bobcats have fired Mike Dunlap and the Cleveland Cavaliers are bringing back Mike Brown.
Dunlap only lasted one season with the Bobcats, going 21-61, the second worst record in the league behind Orlando. Despite Charlotte’s awful performance this year, I disagree with the decision to let Dunlap go.
Funny enough, I had my doubts about the decision to hire Dunlap in the first place because of his lack of NBA and head coaching experience. But the Bobcats picked him because they saw some potential in his ability to develop players. If that is what you are going for then you cannot just fire someone after one year. The team and their coach need time to grow, time to gel and time to improve.
Charlotte’s winning percentage this season was better than it was last year. They are getting (a little bit) better so let Dunlap keep going until they start getting worse.
This move reportedly came after exit interviews with the Bobcat players, some of whom gave negative reviews of Dunlap’s performance. I do understand that if a coach does not have the respect and appreciation of his team, then that is going to cause problems, so it makes sense in that regard.
It is still a very unfortunate situation that he had to be let go so soon.
As for where the Bobcats go from here, that is going to be a tough one. I am assuming Phil Jackson does not want the job.
Charlotte needs a strong-willed coach, someone who can get them to not act like the worst team in the NBA. They need someone who can come in and quickly earn their respect and get them playing like a team. I am not sure if the right guy is out there right now, and, if he is, if he would even want the job. But the Bobcats really just need to pick someone and commit to him long term. Give him a chance to shine.
Speaking of not being given much of a chance, Mike Brown, who was fired by the Los Angeles Lakers five games into this season, has been re-hired by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Brown spent seven seasons with the Cavs before he was fired in 2010 and is their most successful coach in franchise history. They let him go in an attempt to keep LeBron James happy and in Cleveland.
Obviously that did not work.
Despite Brown’s achievements his first time around with the Cavaliers, I do not like the decision to bring him back. Any success that team had was because of LeBron, not because of Brown’s coaching. In fact, I believe he actually held them back from achieving their highest potential.
Now the Cavs want to bring him back to coach a team without LeBron? I don’t see that going well.
Anyone who expects Brown to return the Cavs to the team they were with King James is going to be very disappointed, unless of course you buy into the rumors that LeBron is headed back to Cleveland. Wouldn’t that be an interesting development?