Believe it or not, the Charlotte Bobcats’ 21-61 2012-2013 record was a vast improvement over last season, but it still wasn’t enough to save head coach Mike Dunlap’s job.
ESPN.com is reporting that the organization fired Dunlap on Tuesday. The Bobcats finished the regular season with the second worst record in the league, but still managed to win three times as many games as they did in the lockout shortened 2011-2012 season. Apparently, the Bobcats wanted to see an even bigger improvement and after Dunlap failed to deliver, they will have to look elsewhere for a coach that can.
“(General manager) Rich Cho and I conducted our season-ending review and met with coach Dunlap to reflect on this season,”said Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins. “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 lasted just one season with the Bobcats, who are now searching for their third coach in as many seasons. When Dunlap was brought in, he knew he had a large mountain to climb and at the end of the season, felt it may have been too tall for anyone to climb in one just one year.
“I never thought that we were going to blink our eyes and have 35 wins,” Dunlap said last week. “I thought it was always going to be a slog. We’re slowly moving this thing around and again, what’s perspective? The worst team in the history of the NBA (last season), all right, so how do you go from seven wins to, say, 40 wins? That’s pretty tough to do.”
Needless to say, the next coach who comes in will be facing many of the same challenges, but the organization is confident that the team is headed in the right direction and that the coaching position in Charlotte is an attractive one.
“We believe our head coaching position will be an attractive one to potential candidates,” Higgins said. “This offseason, we will have an excellent opportunity to acquire a quality player with a top-five pick in the upcoming NBA Draft and we could have up to $21 million in space under the salary cap to add players via free agency or trade, so the foundation is solid for someone to come in and continue to build on our on court performance.”