Tag: Mike Dunlap

Mike Dunlap

Fighting 11-game losing streak, Bobcats coach trying to teach young team professionalism


The Bobcats are not a good basketball team. We knew that going into the season, even if it was masked when they won five out of six at one point in mid November. They were a young team, not a very talented team, and you knew the regression to the mean was coming.

But an 11-game losing streak is harsh.

Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap is there to develop young players like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bizmack Biyombo, Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson into a team that will not be so bad in a few years (and with a few more players).

And so when you have an 11-game losing streak, you try to use the frustration to teach the lessons of being a professional as a player, he said before his team took on the Lakers in the first of a four-games in five days road trip.

“You listen to their frustration. You acknowledge it. And then you move off of it to what is to be done next,” Dunlap said. “I think that here is a formula within this, I don’t care how tough it gets. You have to give them clear direction, one. And you have to have energy. You have to be the same person every day…

“I have been unrelenting in my energy every day. It’s okay to be frustrated, it’s how you handle the frustration.”

But make no mistake, Dunlap is frustrated, as are the veteran Bobcats such as Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions. Dunlap speaks like a coach of a young team, trying to teach with each step.

“I think it’s frustrating for everybody, but I think it’s how you manage the frustration, and I think you want the same person in terms of the coaching staff in front of the players every day,” Dunlap said. “So if they are up or down, you recognize the frustration.

“There’s nothing like work to cleanse the soul. And also a clear direction — I think you have to tell people how they are going to win… I think we do that every day. We have a certain style that we play and we haven’t backed off of that one iota.

“And on our individual work. I think when you are 18 or 19 or 20 or 21 you have got to work in this league in order to develop. Feet, hands, reading defenses.”

The Bobcats are doing none of those skills particularly well, and certainly not consistently. But it’s about learning, developing habits, putting together some core players that can be around in a few years.

It’s the thankless part of the coaching job. Especially when you are losing 11 in a row with a potential for that streak to grow.

Bobcats’ coach says trading No. 2 pick “makes a lot of sense”

Mike Dunlap

No need to read the tea leaves to see if the Charlotte Bobcats are trying to trade the No. 2 pick.

Their new coach Mike Dunlap was pretty direct about it when speaking with the Associated Press — he said it “makes a lot of sense” for a team in Charlotte’s position to move down and get extra picks.

“I think anybody in our situation would have that on the board,” Dunlap said. “(Our) people are very smart up top. So options and thinking of your variables is a very smart thing to do.”

The buzz is the Bobcats have wanted to move down in the draft but not too far (not out of top 10), and they wanted a young player (ideally) or other good picks to make the move. A number of other teams seemed to balk at the prices being asked.

One rumored deal that makes sense is with Cleveland — the Cavaliers would send their No. 4 pick and No. 24 pick (or their early second rounders) for the No. 2 pick.

If the Bobcats really like Thomas Robinson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist then the Cavaliers deal makes sense. Cleveland wants to jump up and get Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal at No. 2 because he will not fall past the Wizards at No. 3 (this trade would blow up the Wizards draft plans). If Beal goes No. 2 then Robinson or Kidd-Gilchrist have to drop to No. 4. So the Bobcats get their man and an additional pick or two.

And as they need all the help they can get, additional picks can’t hurt.

There is support out there for Bobcats new coach Dunlap

Mike Dunlap

In all the stories about the Charlotte Bobcats coaching search, we at PBT dutifully listed Mike Dunlap, assistant coach at St. Johns, among the guys interviewed. Like you, we thought that a courtesy interview because he knew somebody, he was not a guy on most people’s NBA radar.

But he got the job.

And while we questioned the hire — in part because Dunlap is an unknown quantity, in part because the Bobcats named three finalists then hired outside that circle, in part because of the rumors they were trying to hire on the cheap — there has been support coming up for him from other coaches. Most notably Nuggets head man George Karl, who had Dunlap as an assistant for years. Here is what Karl tweeted (yes, Karl is on twitter):

Great hire by Bobcats! Mike Dunlap is one of the most creative defensive minds I’ve ever worked with. Welcome back to the NBA!

The other book on Dunlap is that he is good at player development, therefor is a fit for the young and rebuilding Bobcats (or at least that is the direction they should be going).

Maybe. Honestly nobody knows how he will do as a coach and while this is a gamble Dunlap gets a chance. He, like every other coach in this league, will be judged based on wins and losses (relative to expectations). Do well, help the team grow and evolve, and he stays. It’s not a complex equation.

But the way it went down was still very Bobcats. Why interview three guys as finalists — Jerry Sloan, Brian Shaw and Quin Snyder — then hire outside that circle? Who knows? Bottom line Michael Jordan and Rich Cho you have your guy, good luck with him. He’s your gamble now.

Charlotte Bobcats hire Mike Dunlap, assistant coach at St. John’s

Image (1) bobcats_logo-thumb-250x182-19284.jpg for post 3934

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.