Well… I mean… you know… the one thing you can say is… huh.
Yeah, that about sums it up.
The Charlotte Observer first reported and a half-dozen news outlets are confirming that the Charlotte Bobcats have hired a coach. It’s not Brian Shaw. It’s not Jerry Sloan. It’s not Quin Snyder.
It’s Mike Dunlap, former Nuggets assistant coach and current assistant coach at St. John’s.
Yeah, don’t bother go looking for his Wikipedia page. He doesn’t have one. Which doesn’t say anything about his coaching credentials, other than, you know, no one knows who he is. Dunlap has coached in the NBL, at Arizona, Oregon, and St. John’s under Steve Lavin. His last NBA gig was in 2008 with the Nuggets.
This is yet another “Wait, what?” move from Michael Jordan and the Bobcats, and you have to wonder how much salary was a part of this decision. It’s a homerun swing for a diamond in the rough. No, wait, sorry, we’re mixing metaphors. Sorry, pretty confused as to what exactly is going on in Charlotte. So now a coach with no experience as an NBA head coach and limited assistant coaching experience takes over the worst team in the league, without the No.1 pick, trying to scrape together something resembling a legitimate franchise.
Maybe he’ll stun us all and be a terrific coach out of nowhere. Just because we don’t know anything about him doesn’t make him bad. He’s got a ton of X’s and O’s coaching chops. It’s just…
It’s weird. It’s unforeseen. It’s the Bobcats.
Jerry Sloan pulls out of Charlotte Bobcats coaching search
“I took myself out today,” Sloan said by phone. “I don’t want to comment on it because it’s never profitable for anybody. It just makes it sound like you’re making a statement about someone. But they were wonderful and there were no problems. I just took myself out.”
Sloan had gone through the second round of the interview process, having met with owner Michael Jordan, before making this move.
That leaves two guys in the running: former Lakers assistant and current Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, and current Lakers assistant Quin Snyder. Shaw is the frontrunner but he also has drawn interest from Portland and might well from Orlando as well if they ever hire a general manager.
Sloan said he has not had conversations with Orlando or Portland, the other two current coaching vacancies.
“If somebody calls me, I guess I’d listen to what they have to say. But I don’t have an agent, and if somebody calls I’d be willing to listen to them.”
Karl Malone says he would have taken Pippen over Jordan
Note to NBA team owners: Don’t make Karl Malone your general manager.
Malone was on the Dan Patrick Show Wednesday, talking about the Dream Team (be sure to watch the new documentary on NBA TV tonight, it rocks) and as part of the conversation he talked about Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
“I would have to start my team with Scottie Pippen,” he said. “This is why I would take Scottie: Do you remember the time that Michael retired? I watched Scottie Pippen when the Chicago Bulls weren’t really good and Scottie led that team in every statistical category, and I just remembered that. Plus, he’s a guy who could care less about scoring. He wants to stop the best player on the other team. That would have been pretty cool, to see Scottie guarding Michael.”
Those Bulls teams that weren’t very good added Jordan back and they won titles again. Just sayin’.
I get that some people vastly underestimate how great a player Scottie Pippen was. He is a deserving Hall of Famer, one of the 50 greatest players of all time. A legend. If you think even Jordan could have did what he did on his own, well, why not look at how LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have done the last few years.
But Pippen is not Jordan. That’s not a discussion we are going to entertain.
Isiah Thomas gets shredded in new Dream Team documentary
Last night I watched a preview copy of the NBA Dream Team documentary that airs on NBA TV Wednesday, highlighting the 20th anniversary of the original (and greatest) Dream Team and their run up to and through the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Watch it. It is fantastic stuff. Great stories, a reminder of how huge this was and how it changed international basketball, and just a fun trip down memory lane.
But one thing that stuck out — everyone confirmed the long-time rumor that Pistons guard Isiah Thomas was blackballed from the team. It started with the Bulls Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, although Jordan hints there were people up the USA Basketball ladder that were more than happy to do that, and NBA exec Russ Granik basically confirmed that.
Jordan and Pippen pulled no punches.
“That was one of the stipulations put to me (on the team) that Isiah wasn’t part of the team,’’ Jordan said.
“Isiah was the general (of the Bad Boy Pistons),’’ Pippen said. “He was the guy who would yap at his teammates and say ‘Kick them on their ass. Do whatever you have to do.’ No, I didn’t want him on the Dream Team.’’
Granik pointed to an incident at the end of the Bulls/Pistons playoff series that year where Thomas led his teammates off the court before the final buzzer even sounded. That kind of sportsmanship and image was not what the NBA wanted to project to the world.
So Thomas was out in 1992. He would not be part of this documentary, either.
Seriously, watch the entire documentary. You’ll learn a lot more than this. But this part may be one of the most gripping.
Video: We’re pretty pumped for Dream Team documentary
You probably have seen the commercials for the upcoming NBA TV Dream Team documentary, they are everywhere during playoff coverage, but truth be told we’re getting pretty pumped up for this. So we’re bringing you the trailer. Watch it again. And again.
The original NBA Dream Team was 20 years ago this summer — a team with 11 Basketball Hall of Famers that steamrolled an international Olympics field far weaker than the one Team USA will face this summer. But it was those guys and what they did, the international spotlight they brought to the NBA and the game, that jump started the international growth of the sport. Still, the best stories are from the practices and more.
We will have a full advanced review of the documentary closer to its airing (9 p.m. Eastern, June 13 on NBA TV). For now, enjoy the trailer.