The Bobcats front office announced yesterday that Paul Silas would not return as head coach of the team next season. Although Silas will no longer be the coach of the team, he has been promised a position with the franchise moving forward. The early speculation is that Silas will somehow be involved with player development and the front office, to some extent.
“I hope I can be part of making some decisions,” said Silas.
As far as to how Silas took the news when he found out Charlotte would not be bringing him back as coach next season.
“I’m okay with it.”
Paul silas also commented in his press conference yesterday that he was officially done coaching in the NBA. Silas started coaching in the NBA in 1980 with the San Diego Clippers. Over the span of 32 years Silas has coached five different NBA teams (San Diego Clippers, Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers & Charlotte Bobcats).
Silas compiled an overall record of 32-88 while at the helm in Charlotte, but clearly never was dealt the hand that leads towards success. At the trade deadline last season and with the Bobcats in the middle of a push for the 8th spot in the eastern conference playoffs, Charlotte dealt their best player, Gerald Wallace, to Portland. The franchise made the statement with that move that they were looking towards the future and Silas was destined for a seriously uphill climb in order to make this team competitive.
Paul Silas clearly understands the direction of this franchise now and definitely understood last season what was going on when Charlotte got rid of Wallace and Jackson. He also knows that the fan base will have to be patient during this rebuilding process.
“It takes time to rebuild. They’ve (fans) got to understand that,” commented Silas.
Rich Cho and the Bobcats now must look towards the future and try to forget what was statistically the worst season ever for an NBA franchise. Cho did not give a timeline as to when the next coach would be named, but did say that the search would begin ‘immediately’.
As for coaches that don’t currently have a head coaching position in the NBA, names such as Mike D’Antoni, Nate McMillian and Patrick Ewing have been rumored. Stephen Silas, Paul’s son and assistant for the Bobcats the past two seasons will also be interviewed for the job.
Spencer Percy, Mathew Lewis, Timothy Varner (48 Minutes of Hell) and Ian Levy (Hickory High) weigh in on what this all means for the Bobcats and what to expect moving forward.
Spencer Percy: No question about it. Paul Silas is a good coach and an extremely likeable person, but you just can’t move on with a coach that engineered a 7-59 record. Regardless of how bad the roster was. On the flip side, I am very happy that the front office is going to keep Silas involved with the organization to some extent.
Mathew Lewis: Yes. Perception. Re-branding. Whatever reason you want to pick, Bobcats management had to make this call. By no measure was this historically horrific season due in any large part to Silas, but in the NBA you can’t fire the players and management is not going to fire itself so it’s Silas who takes the fall.
Timothy Varner (48 Minutes of Hell): Of course they did. The Bobcats continued to lose, even after hitting their desired lose mark. Rich Cho did the right thing by taking the long view with the Bobcats, but Silas is clearly the friendly fire of this little experiment. Silas is 68, lost his team, and the only thing anyone—whether present or future players— will associate with him is a historically low loss totals.
Ian Levy (Hickory High): I’ll admit to missing more than handful of the Bobcats’ games this season. Everytime I did tune in, I was struck by not just the talent deficit they were working with, but how scattered their execution was and what an inconsistent effort they brought. That half-of the losing equation was squarely on Silas’ shoulders. Failing so miserably in that department makes it hard to believe in a guy.
2- Favorite Paul Silas moment in his tenure with the Bobcats?
Spencer: It was without a doubt the shoving incident with Tyrus Thomas. What Bobcats fan hasn’t grown extremely frustrated with Tyrus this season? I think many in Charlotte probably felt justified by the fact that Tyrus what put into his place by Silas. Look, coach Silas has as much patience as anyone, and that was evident with this season. But he was tired of Tyrus’ attitude, on top of the fact that he was making more bonehead plays on the the court than a high school freshman.
When Silas was hired and he said he intended to make this an up-tempo style team I was really excited, so that would have been my favorite moment, but that never came remotely close to being a reality.
Mathew: Good question. Let’s be honest, his tenure as coach came and went without a long list of tangible accomplishments. However, I think some of his best moments undoubtedly came in practice and team huddles as he attempted to mold this young squad into a competitor. Many of these “moments”, though not known to us, should hopefully bear fruit in seasons to come when the Bobcats are under the tutelage of another coach.
Timothy: I’m not sure if it could be described as a “favorite” moment, but the Tyrus Thomas incident is a window into how much frustration existed in the locker room, and a good picture of the tension that exists between a player and coach in a bad situation.
Ian: I’m not sure if this is a joke or not. I guess it would have to be letting my imagination run wild, visualizing the reported shoving match between him and Tyrus Thomas. I bear Thomas no ill will, but love the image of the grizzled Silas showing him what used to be allowed in the paint during his era.
3- What current unemployed/rumored coach would be the best fit for the rebuilding job in Charlotte?
Spencer: Nate McMillian. He is tough on his players and expects a lot from them. McMillian is also a demanding defensive coach. Now, with that being said, a roster that includes Anthony Davis (hopefully) and Bismack Biyombo as it’s front line would beg to be a defensive minded club. This roster is also full of guys that can be grinded on a bit. Not too many ego’s to deal with yet, so they’ll listen to what coach has to say. To me, McMillian would be the right fit.
Thanks to Timothy, I’ve also learned quite a bit about Mike Budenholzer lately and see him being a great fit for this rebuilding process. I don’t think you can go wrong with a fruit from the Popovich tree.
Mathew: Personally, I would like a young, up-and-coming coach to take over on the sidelines, much like the direction the Bulls and Thunder went with Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks. I strongly believe a team needs to mirror the character and persona of its coach. That being said, I think the Bobcats would be best served to bring in a coach who feels he has something to prove, not unlike the entirety of this Bobcats roster.
Timothy: Nate McMillian is rumored, but I like Mike Budenholzer for several reasons. He’s been with the Spurs since 1994, and he’s been Gregg Popovich’s most trusted assistant for the past several seasons. Budenholzer understands the constraints of a small market, how to set a winning culture, and, most importantly, how to develop players, whether superstar draft picks like Tim Duncan or rotation fillers like Danny Green. And, interestingly, he’s now been the top assistant for one of the best defensive and offensive teams of the last decade. It’s not a bad system to inherit.
Ian: There will be plenty of options but I’m partial to Mike Budenholzer and Quin Snyder. Budenholzer has been the Spurs’ top assistant since 2008, and by Gregg Popovich’s side for his entire tenure. He reportedly has the chops in terms of tactical guile and personnel management. Snyder also brings a reputation as a heavy-hitter in the player development department. As head coach for the NBDL’s Austin Toros for three seasons, he presided over more call-ups than any other coach in D-League history. The Bobcats need to acquire young talent, but they also need that talent molded. If I was Michael Jordan, these two would be at the top of my list.