Bobcats fire Mike Dunlap — QCH reacts « Queen City Hoops

Bobcats fire Mike Dunlap — QCH reacts

1- On a scale of 1-10, how much did this move surprise you?

Spencer: 8. I just cannot understand how a franchise that has existed through such a persistent culture of losing and is coming off the worst season in NBA history (one year ago) can believe it’s wise to part ways with a coach after just one season.

Did Dunlap’s style sit well with the players? Maybe not. I can’t answer that. I am tired of reading that this shouldn’t be this big of a surprise. If someone can honestly answer that they heard consistent bad rumors about Dunlap, then please speak up. Didn’t we all know that Dunlap was a guy who was going to come in and run this team more like a college program — or at least to the level that would relate to the NBA? Yep, I’m pretty sure that was the word on him before Higgins and Cho made the hire. So, that being said — who now looks stupid? The guy who was fired, or the guys who hired him and then fired him for presumably the same reason they hired him? It’s all very odd to me and makes me wonder what in the world is going on in the Bobcats front office.

Maybe Mike Dunlap wasn’t the right guy for the job — I’m not trying to say that he was, I guess what I’m trying to say is that he deserved more than one season with this roster. Honestly, this should probably be a reminder to us all that this league is about the players, and the coaches that make out good in this league are the ones who can manage the personalities on their rosters the best.

Mathew: Seven. When I first saw the news come across Twitter, I have to admit I was rather surprised. Probably more in the 8/9 category. However, as I thought about it more and heard some of the rumblings about player dissatisfaction with his coaching style, general demeanor, and long practices, I began to understand it. As I saw a few writers point out, Dunlap was not very well-liked by the veteran players on the team (though it’s tough to find favor with the vets when you’re playing a majority of young guys). I agree with the notion that this would’ve come into play when potential free agents began asking their NBA brethren about playing for Dunlap and whether they would enjoy the experience. It’s difficult to lure players to your market when you have both a struggling team and a coach veteran players don’t respect.

Greg: Six. It was pretty clear last year that Dunlap wasn’t their first choice, and that he’d likely be a caretaker coach as the team rebuilt. I expected him to get another year, but this was a move that was coming sooner rather than later.

2- Was this the correct decision by Rich Cho and Rod Higgins?

Spencer: I’m sure you could tell from my first answer where I stand on this one — I don’t see the purpose in doing business the way that Higgins, in particular, has chosen to. Like he has something in specific to hang his hat on in Charlotte? Nope. If the firing of Dunlap was such a pre-meditated decision, then why in the world hire him in the first place?

The rebuilding process that works together in unison must involve a consistent coach, so for the front office to pull the trigger this quickly on Dunlap just makes me believe they regret hiring him in the first place — funny, that correlates directly to what we’ve been used to with this front office for quite sometime now — inconsistent, poor decision making. It’s not good for the young core to have to get used to another system, it doesn’t fire up the fan base (at least not in the correct way) and it doesn’t seem to be healthy for the franchise.

Mathew: Yes. I’m all-in on Rich Cho because I feel like I have to be. I’m choosing to trust his judgment. Though you never know how it truly went down, I like the fact it was reported that Cho and Higgins first made the decision to let go of Dunlap before reaching out to Jordan for his blessing. It’s (purportedly) nice to see Cho calling the shots. That being said, this next decision needs to be right or it could be his last.

Greg: From the information we have, sure. There’s something to be said for continuity, but if Dunlap wasn’t a long-term answer, they need to take another shot at finding someone who will be. There were positives this year (increased win total, player development), but I think those mostly stemmed from improvements to the roster and some more seasoning for the young players. In any case, I think they’ll be making a lateral move at worst with their next hire, and maybe the players won’t hate the new guy.

3- Who’s your choice to be the Bobcats next head coach?

Spencer: Well, I certainly cannot see the team attracting any top names to Charlotte to come coach this roster. Mike Budenholzer is someone that I hope the Bobcats go after very hard. He’s the head assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio and has been for 6 seasons now — he’s been with the Spurs organization for 16 seasons. Working under Pop, presumably Budenholzer would be a great X’s & O’s coach. As far as how good he is working with player ego’s and personalities, well I can’t speak for that, but he falls from the Popovich tree — that’s what is most attractive.

My head tells me Quinn Snyder will be the guy. It seemed for a short while that he was going to be who Charlotte went with before giving the sword to Dunlap last summer and the front office may now be deciding that’s the direction they should have gone in the first place.

Mathew: The early rumors surrounded Quinn Snyder, the former Missouri Tigers head coach and NBA assistant. Supposedly the Bobcats were very high on him last year. I would love to see them go after Brian Shaw, but from the sounds of it that doesn’t seem like a possibility at this time. Since my intel goes only so far as the NBA insiders I follow on Twitter, I’ll go with the current concensus pick and say Quinn Snyder.

Greg: My blue-sky choice would be a top assistant like Golden State’s Mike Malone or San Antonio’s Mike Budenholzer. Unlike Dunlap, those two have extensive experience with the NBA game and are more familiar with the grind of the season. The big negative is that they can afford to wait for an ideal head coaching job, which they wouldn’t have in Charlotte.

I think it’s more likely the Bobcats end up with a retread like Mo Cheeks or Avery Johnson, someone who wouldn’t mind inheriting a mess. A dark horse candidate could be Stephen Silas, but I don’t think the team will take a chance on two unproven coaches in a row.

13 comments to Bobcats fire Mike Dunlap — QCH reacts

  • Spencer/SDS

    poor least give the guy another season, he was brought in to develop…not exactly win, he developed…won a bit more then was expected..went from worst to second worst and only had issues with Gordon, and Haywood (maybe a feqw others) but who cares about those guys??? Gordon=wasted talent that only plays offense, Haywood lazy and well…Dunlap got him into shape…if anything Haywood should have been happy…who else…who cares??? only guys i care about are the youngens, and if they don’t complain who cares??? they are the ones that matter to this franchise

  • charlottean

    this better be due to the availability and interest of someone else (byron scott, nate mcmillan, lawrence frank). if they fired him, without having the replacement lined up, this is insane.

    avery johnson would be the worst thing possible here.

    cannot understand this at all. I was all in on cho PRIOR to this. now I’m completely on the fence. knee jerk move no matter how you look at it YOU HAVE to give guys more than 1 year. ron rivera is getting 3 years and he clearly IS the problem with the panthers. dunlap clearly wasn’t the problem.

  • Until MJ parts with his friend Rod Higgins I don’t think things will ever change. His draft picks = Brandon Wright ( Joakim Noah was the next pick) DJ Augustin (despite already having Felton with a GLARING need at center… Brook Lopez was the next pick), Gerald Henderson HAS become a solid wing, 2010 pick was traded away in 08 to select Alexis Ajinca, I like Kemba but he also moved up 12 spots to take the next Reggie Evans (Bismack Biyombo). The 12′ draft had more of Rich Cho’s influence so we’ll see on that.

    Trades and free agent wise, he gave Matt Carroll $27 million, gave Okafor $72 million (wouldn’t have been a bad move at $50 million), took on Gana Diop’s contract, managed to get out of Okafor’s deal for Tyson Chandler only to GIVE him to Dallas for Najera and Erick Dampier, traded what could very well be a potential #1 overall pick to the Bulls for Tyrus Thomas, gave Tyrus Thomas $40 million, signed his SON to the team, and traded what could very well be a potential #1 overall pick to the Bulls for Tyrus Thomas (I know I said that already, but it deserved to be repeated).

    Combine that with many of Jordan’s mistakes and I don’t see this ever getting any better until Jordan stops thinking with his heart and fires his friend for someone that knows what they’re doing.

    • Spencer/SDS

      eww….I would say Biz was good and will be far better then Evans is offensively…of ever was…and a bigger impact defensively…Evans is more of a great re bounder and tough defender…not an influential defender thou, yes singular he can be pretty good defensively just due to his motor and strength, but he can’t defend any 7 footers unless the coach is crazy and he can’t be an anchor of a defense…i know you were trying to make a point (and you did) but i would give Biz a far better future grade of Reggie Evans…

  • charlottean

    rod higgins was easily the worst GM imaginable (even worse than david kahn (barely)) but the draft wasn’t the problem. We had okafor when augustin was drafted. augustin was larry brown’s pick. augustin would have been a lot better than he is if he had been drafted elsewhere (nets had we taken lopez). lopez is a one way player who won’t win anything. the bulls are going to win that series without rose and the only reason the nets are even in it is because of williams/johnson/wallace/evans. lopez is incredibly skilled as a scorer but that’s IT. he hurts them in so many other ways. reggie evans is the perfect guy to pair with him because the 2 combined equal out to a decent starting front line. but neither are elite defenders.

    reggie evans would be a top 15 pick if a guy in this draft class was classified as his clone. biz is not and probably will not be the level of rebounder he is. he’s hitting rodman levels right now. I hope I’m wrong, but I think biz will be a notch below that. But biz is ALREADY wayyyyy ahead of evans defensively and will continue to get better. he’s already as good offensively and continually getting better.

    the problem with higgins were the trades and signings…….like you said, carroll and okafor were overpaid. felton was let walk. mohammed and diop were traded for when they had horrible contracts. we should have gotten draft picks in those deals and we didn’t. the trailblazers got more for wallace than we did. and he was a year older at that point and coming off a rougher year than the year prior when we had him. giving up on morrison before you even let him recover from his injury. giving up on ajinca before giving him a chance to grow up even though he was dominating d-league competition at a very young age.

    rod higgins needs to go. but cho might be digging himself into a spot right next to higgins with moves like this. they gotta pull something big off to make this make sense.

  • charlottean

    i feel like writing more and more and more rants.

    this likely sets us back again. We had the right coach. at the very least for the next 2 years if not permanently. Now I’m wondering how kemba progresses under his 3rd coach in 3 seasons. Gerald henderson is entering his 5th season in the league and regardless of whether he stays or goes…’ll be his 4th coach in 5 seasons. CONTINUITY IS VALUABLE. you look at all the successful franchises and even when they struggle they have continuity to help develop the guys to get them OUT of the dungeon. This is why detroit made a huge mistake too. They had the right coach to develop this knight/drummond/monroe/singler core and right when they start getting cap room and getting rid of bad contracts and bad players…..they dump the guy who has NO fault in the struggles.

    Joe dumars is getting a lifetime pass for his 1 championship as a GM. He’s had 9 straight seasons of idiotic moves since. he’s drafted pretty well though sans the darko move.

    higgins is getting a lifetime pass for………………..? why again?

    if this turns out to be a huge blunder, you just know cho will be fired by this time next year. if he misses on this draft, he’ll be gone. and higgins will still be here? I’ll say it again and again and again. Players hate playing for tom coughlin too.

  • drew

    To be honest this team has been a huge failure from the beginning. Look at every draft pick, free agent signing, wrong move made. Okafor wasn’t a bad pick, and at the time was the right pick. However, Loul Deng, Al Jefferson, JR Smith and Josh Smith were all drafted after him. 2005 they could have traded their 2 picks in the draft to move up, and select Deron Williams or Chris Paul, but they got Felton and May. After Felton was picked Andrew Bynum was picked, and after May, worse pick by Bobcats, Danny Grainger was picked, and David Lee was the last pick in the draft. In 2006 was the Morrison pick, Tyrus Thomas was right after him, but others drafted after Morrison were Rudy Gay, JJ Reddick, and Rajon Rondo. 2007 they traded Brendan Wright away and got Richardson, but they also drafted Jared Dudley but then they traded Dudley and Richardson away for Raja Bell and Boris Diaw. Also traded one bad contract in Matt Carroll for Diops horrible deal, and didn’t get a draft pick, oh and by the way, they get Carroll back as well. 2008 draft they drafted D. J. Augustin and Alexis Ajinca which are the 2 worst draft picks ever for this team. After Augustin was drafted Lopez was drafted, but worse than that so was Roy Hibbert, but right after Ajinca was drafted so was Ryan Anderson, Courtney Lee, Kosta Koufos, and Serge Ibaka. All of them still play in the league, and are better than what we currently have on the roster. 2009 they drafted Henderson, and even though I cant argue with the pick, I would have traded half the roster away to get Steph Curry. 2010 they didn’t have a first round pick, and in 2011 and 2012 they also made mistakes. In 2011 I wanted them to draft Klay Thompson so they can have someone with an outside shot, and would have been better if they drafted Thompson and kept Tobias Harris instead of getting Biyombo and Walker. And Finally in 2012 instead of Kidd Gilchrest could have gone with Beal, Henson, Lilliard or the guy I wanted in Harrison Barnes. Instead of the Bobcats drafting offensively gifted individuals they draft team defenders with offensive upside. They start right now 3 guys with limited offensive games in Biyombo, Henderson and MKG, and Walker is a shoot first point guard without a stellar shot, and Josh McRoberts should be resigned as soon as possible, but with all the top 10 picks they have had in their history, that is the starting 5 put together. So I said all that to say it doesn’t matter who their coach is, until they actually get some talent, some way or another, there wont be anyone to coach. This team needs to over pay someone like a Josh Smith or an Al Jefferson just to add talent to this terrible team. I wish they would play Thomas to see if they could trade him, rather than sit his worthless butt on the bench collecting 8 million. I would do everything I could to get rid of half this team and start over. Starting with Rod Higgins, followed by Thomas, Gordon, Diop, and Williams.

    How I would fix this team, first resign Henderson, but not for more than 4 years and 20 million, resign Josh McRoberts to a 2 year 7 million deal, as he was the best player on the team for the last half of the season, and try and sign either Josh Smith to a 4 year 48 million deal or Al Jefferson to a 4 year 44 million dollar deal. Draft either Mclemore or Trey Burke, regardless of position you need the best player, which is not going to be Noel, an other player with no offensive game. Then try and trade Thomas or amnesty him next season. Hire Sam Mitchell as coach, or Mike Malone, and sign them soon. Don’t wait, get it done as soon as possible, because this should be a hire for at least 3 years regardless of record. Next season, Gordon and Thomas should be gone, which frees up more money. No one in Charlotte expects the Bobcats to win a championship within 3 years, but you can make the playoffs every year. Just learn how to draft better and stop taking on so many bad contracts.

  • willie


  • charlottean

    drew you’re looking with 20/20 hindsight.

    we didn’t draft the wrong guys, we just didn’t develop our guys. okafor was poorly developed but he’s still a solid double double guy and a starting nba center. 9 years later. felton played just as good as paul as a rookie and then they started playing him at the 2 which ruined his development. he’s still a starting pg on a contender. the pick wasn’t the problem. may was great when healthy. he never got healthy. no difference between that a brandon roy or greg oden or really danny granger or andrew bynum for that matter. different timing sure but talent? no. other franchises might have been able to get him in better shape.

    morrison wasn’t given a chance after he got hurt. he was given 1.5 years of an nba career. 1.5 years. and the .5 was coming off of ACL surgery. that’s insane. we ruined his career. he wasn’t a bad pick. he just absolutely dominated summer league last year showing he’s at least as good as the top rookies this year. he’s played at top level euroleague ball and put up good numbers. and that’s all given the effed up confidence and lack of playing time during the past 6 years. the problem is the franchise, not the players we brought in. other teams could get great things out of the same guys.

    the brandan wright pick keeps getting harped on but we didn’t pick wright, we picked richardson. that wasn’t a bad move given the fact he was young and could score and played the 2 and there weren’t any great 2′s available in that draft. at that point we had felton, richardson, morrison, wallace, may, okafor, carroll, hermann, etc. we looked like we were building something. morrison got hurt, vincent was a horrible coach and that set the franchise back BIG TIME. and A LOT of people harping on brandan wright forget that he’s been a rotation guy for good dallas teams the past 2 years and he’s ONLY 25 right now. for an 8 pick, he’s not a flop at all. he’s not a great value, but he’s not a bust. his per 36 numbers were 17 and 8 this year. PER over 20 both of the past 2 years.

    dudley wasn’t a bad pick. you can look at the guys behind him and say splitter, chandler landry are better but you can look in front of him and say there are 8 guys out of the league while he started most of this past year. trading him and richardson for diaw and bell worked for us. that was one of the few good trades. trading bell, morrison, and shannon brown for stephen jackson was a bad sequence of moves. it got us a playoff birth we would have had anyways, and gave us a cancer that led to us having to blow the whole thing up again.

    the biggest failures were the sequence of…..overpaying carroll and okafor, trading carroll for diop which was worse than sitting carroll on the bench for 5 years. trading okafor for chandler (great move) then trading chandler for dampier/najera/carroll which was easily the dumbest trade in recent nba memory. easily.

    everybody talks about memphis trading pau gasol but they traded him for marc gasol…….that was a GREAT trade for memphis given gasol’s salary and the team’s lack of assets at the time. trading chandler to dallas in a “salary dump” where we took back more salary than we sent out AND threw in ajinca to give up on yet another 1st round draft pick we failed to develop…….was by far and above the worst of the worst of the worst in all the bobcats errors.

    firing dunlap is looking like it’s making the list of errors. but my point is…..the draft picks weren’t the problem, it was what we did with them after we got them. and the coaching carousel has been a huge issue too. kemba had success under dunlap. what’s going to happen with his 3rd coach in 3 years? and biyombo? new coach might not buy in the way dunlap did. could be a larry brown type and eff up ANOTHER rebuild for a 1 year playoff appearance. we had the right guy to keep at least for 3 or 4 years. at least.

    • drew

      I did say that at the time Okafor was the right pick, and so was Felton, though even at the time I wanted Paul over Felton, and May and Morrison were not the right picks, not even at the time they were picked. May was sorry at Carolina, and became a lottery pick because he had a huge tournament. He was out of shape for the pro game, that’s not hindsite, that was right in front of everyone from the beginning. We don’t draft the right people who can help the team right away. They pick projects and hope that they become great. MKG, Biyombo, May, Morrison have something in common, they weren’t ready for the pro game when they were drafted on potential. That’s why in 9 seasons they have one winning record. Basketball is the easiest sport to turn your franchise around on a year to year basis, all you need is one player and you are a playoff team. The Bobcats just keep over paying and drafting the wrong ones. Coaches matter some, but the players win the games, and the bobcats players lose them

  • charlottean

    may put up 32 and 10 against dwight howard. he was legit when healthy. saying he was sorry at carolina is idiotic. seriously. that’s like saying boozer was sorry at duke.
    morrison had a 30 point game as a rookie. he had a heckuva preseason going into his 2nd year before he got hurt.

    may and morrison weren’t projects. MKG isn’t either. he’s just young. bismack IS a project.

    the draft didn’t kill us. it was the idiotic trades. the dampier deal, the diop deal, the thomas deal. that’s what killed this franchise for these past several years.

    • drew

      Well Charlottean, we will just have to disagree to a point. I do believe that trades helped kill this franchise, as did the lack of direction of the team, but the draft didn’t help it either. Even if all the draft picks they had stayed with the team, the starting team would be Kemba, Gerald, MKG, May and Okafor, with DJ, Felton, Morrison, Biyombo, Dudley and Jeff Taylor. With that team they would score 90 points a game and give up around 102 being that Okafor is still a some what solid defender. Kemba would still lead the team in scoring and assist, and Henderson would still be the best player. So even if they didn’t do the stupid trades they did, they still don’t draft well, or they don’t coach them up, but May and Morrison went different places and still failed. By the way, anyone can score 30 points in any given night, they still have talent. Just not NBA caliber…

  • charlottean

    You are looking at what they became not what they would have been had they been drafted to the right situation. If damian lillard gets drafted to houston instead of portland and he splits time with lin next to max money harden… he the same damian lillard?

    If morrison was drafted to portland instead of charlotte would he have been given the brandon roy/greg oden treatment (million chances to come back from each injury) or the same that he received here (.5 years to recover before we give up on you)?

    they drafted value and devalued the pick. sacramento has done the same exact thing. when you draft poorly, that suggests you reach for guys that have no business being at the position they get drafted at. like drafted danny ferry number 2 overall. or drafting miles plumlee in the first round. we don’t have those picks. everyone points to may and morrison but may was injury related. greg oden was still a number 1 pick. roy was still a top 10 pick. them getting hurt later doesn’t change what they did to value themselves that high. tyrus thomas was a reach in that draft. morrison wasn’t. he just didn’t get the 50 chances that thomas got. he was literally dealt the worst possible hand. he averaged 11.8 a game as a rookie on a horrible team. he was ballin the following summer and in preseason and looked like he was about to be the man before he got hurt. he comes back, larry brown hated the dude from day 1 and he gets half a season before they ship him out.

    larry brown HATED that dude. that doesn’t make the pick a reach or a bad value when it was made. it’s everything we did after the fact. we hired the wrong coach at the wrong time. had we hired kevin mchale instead of larry brown, who knows what would have happened.

    we drafted guys with elite pedigrees. mcdonald’s all americans. ncaa all americans. the value was there we not only failed to develop the talent, but we lowered it. we had felton playing the 2. augustin playing behind felton. okafor playing the 4. morrison, ajinca, and henderson being completely ignored by brown. it’s the difference between then and now. Now they are supposedly committed to the rebuild (questioning the dunlap firing). Then they weren’t.

    MKG, Biyombo, Walker, etc. aren’t any better or worse than felton, may, morrison. They’re just being given a better chance (or so it seems). Nurture vs. Nature can get you books worth of interpretation but ultimately……the nature of a lion can be of incredible strength but if you put that lion in a cage he isn’t doing ish.