ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard reported it first and then Ricky B! corroborated it with a league source. Look to them for the facts, I’ll tell you what it means. Out of 11 known candidates to interview, we’re down to 3, I doubt there will be any surprises outside those three and legitimately Rich Cho and Rod Higgins have talked to enough people already.
These are some serious candidates. In Sloan, you are looking at a 23 season veteran coach that weathered sea changes in a single franchise to lead his teams to 19 straight seasons of playoff apearances and 2 Finals appearances, only to lose to Michael Jordan in his prime. Shaw is the young (for a coach) cerebral (recent) former player, who has been one of the most sought after assistants to head coaching candidates over the past few seasons. Quin Snyder was successful as a college coach who started over as an NBA assistant.
All I can tell you is that Sloan’s pedigree, Shaw’s heat and Snyder’s interview (he’s the oddball) must have gotten the front office of the Bobcats excited enough to tell someone, and that someone told Chris Broussard and Rick Bonnell. It’s exciting, when you think of the possibilities associated with each of these coaches. What their teams could look like, the systems they’d put in place and the stability they’d hopefully bring.
Snyder and Shaw are certainly unproven at the NBA level however, enough people think highly of them that I’d have no problem with either of them being hired. Sloan, to me, is the least appealing, and I know this sounds very biased, but it’s based on his age. 70 years old, with the grind of an NBA season, although he was doing it and doing it at a reasonably high level just a year and a half ago, but I pictured the next coach being around for a while. Each of the previous 4 coaches were stop-gaps or crackpots or otherwise old. I don’t want that again.
Each must be legitimate enough about their desire to take on the task that is the Bobcats current roster. I’d be concerned if the first choice was Brian Shaw, who is known to be Orlando’s first choice, wanted to wait to see if The Magic wanted him before agreeing to be the Bobcats’ coach. If, in Shaw’s mind the positions were equal and he was going to take the first offer, I think the Bobcats would have the inside line. Orlando is still jerking around trying to find a GM and this strange ill conceived idea put forth by Sam Vincent might be on the table, wherein he promises Brian Shaw as head coach. But still, would you want the Bobcats roster of young talented players and stable front office or Orlando’s mess of Dwight Howard hanging his decision over your head and their middle aged (by NBA standards) roster, while trying to get along with a new GM who might involve Sam Vincent? Bobcats win.
Quin Snyder is very interesting to me. He’ll always be the young coach with the pretty hair to me. He is a “DOK” or disciple of “K” being Coach Mike Krzyzewski, of Duke. He is one of those point guards who sit on the bench and bark at the players, clutching a clipboard as he seems to yearn for “K’s” approval, and then he gets a head coaching job somewhere. He coached for 6 seasons at Missouri, in which he punctuated several seasons with wins over rival Kansas and tournament berths. Some college bs went down and thus the first thing that comes up if you type “Quin Snyder” into Google is “Quin Snyder scandal.” He was immediately hired as head coach of the NBA D-League’s Austin Toro’s where he had some success and then he was hired by Mike James to be an assistant on the Lakers for the past season. His m.o. is offensive innovation and success at a young age. It’s sort of like if Adam Scott or Anthony Kim had a comeback, after their youthful “prodigy” status, losing it to an extent and then working their way back. Quin was on top of the college basketball world at a young age but then left it to start over and now he’s on the brink of being hired by the Bobcats, that is, if they don’t covet one of the other two.
There are nine guys who came in, talked to the Bobcats and they won’t get the position. Stephen Silas, son of former Coach Paul Silas and an assistant from the past year and a half, won’t be hired. As everyone was very concerned about last week, Patrick Ewing was let down easy by his old pal MJ. Nate McMillan won’t be hired, even with all those North Carolina connections and whatnot. All those interesting assistants, all those fascinating possibilities are gone. In a way, it’s sad, in others, it’s great. We know we’ll get one of 3 serious coaches and hopefully, they’ll have significant input with the draft and they’ll start as soon as possible.
Three guys, three different paths and definitely three different personalities. I can’t wait to find out who Rich, Rod, Curtis and MJ pick.