The Charlotte Bobcats have hired St. John’s assistant Mike Dunlap to be their new head coach, according to 2 unknown sources in the Bobcats organization. An official announcement will be made in the next few days.
Dunlap was one of Charlottes 10 original candidates to compete for the job. After the list was seemingly cut down to former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, Lakers assistant Quin Snyder and Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, Dunlap’s name was all but forgotten…..until now.
At some point during this process, Mike Dunlap re-entered the equation and was offered the job by Charlotte.
Dunlap served as an assistant coach at Arizona and Oregon before filling in for head coach Steve Lavin at St. Johns while Lavin battled prostate cancer.
Mike also served as an assistant coach at the NBA level under George Karl for the Denver Nuggets from 2006 to 2008. The Nuggets compiled a 95-69 (.579) record during his tenure and garnered their first 50-win season in over 23 years.
This is quite the shocking hire by the Charlotte Bobcats. Just when you think they are going in one direction, they do a 180 and turn the tables on all of us.
No disrespect to Mike Dunlap but……..who the heck is Mike Dunlap? He is not the hire this team needs.
After a season in which the Bobcats went 7-59 and finished with the worst winning percentage in league history, fans of the franchise (they do exist) have been looking for anything to get excited about. The team lost out on the #1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft and now they have hired a coach who absolutely no one has heard of until today.
Why should anyone get excited about this hire? He’s been a career assistant coach who has never had that “flashy” coaching job or any sort success that has made him relevant in basketball. Personally, I never once in my life heard the name Mike Dunlap before finding out that he had become the new coach of the Bobcats.
If he has anything going for him, it’s his experience coaching on the college level. Let’s face it. The Charlotte Bobcats 2 best players (I stress the word “best”) are both young talents coming right out of college in Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo. That doesn’t even include the #2 draft pick who will add to Charlottes young crop of basketball players.
Just because a majority of us don’t know who Mike Dunlap is, doesn’t mean he can’t be a good coach for the Bobcats. A lot of coaches who have worked with Dunlap over the years have given him a resounding endorsement, including Nuggets coach George Karl.
“Mike Dunlap absolutely elevates every player and team he comes into contact with. He is our guy. He will take you from good to great. Name any top-level, elite coach in the game – the only difference between Mike and them is their address. There is no higher level of coaching ability than his. There is absolutely no one better.
I will give him the benefit of the doubt and see how he handles the pressures of coaching the worst team in NBA history before I throw the book out on Mr. Dunlap. Obviously he has impressed someone in the Bobcats hierarchy to earn him this job.
I guess that’s what scares me. When has owner Michael Jordan and the front office staff of the Charlotte Bobcats franchise shown that they have a clue as to what they are doing?
FINAL GRADE: C-
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports