I thought it was strange, early in the year, when there was a meeting that apparently absolved Paul Silas and his coaching staff of all responsibility of the misery heaped upon the franchise through epic losses. I thought Silas might see the Bobcats through whatever was coming after this horrible season, but I was further confused when I heard Marv Albert and Mike Fratello on the TNT broadcast basically sealing Silas’s fate as Bobcats’ coach.
They said, basically, that Silas could come back to the team, in some aspect, but likely not as the head coach. This was confirmed today, by Rick Bonnell of the Observer. For all we know, this could be Paul’s decision. He has had health issues, some serious and he’s no spring chicken. If you ask me, however, this was simply a case of not rewarding a guy who led the worst team in NBA history.
Silas came in, much as his predecessor as a triumphant hero, conquering a team that was in trouble under a coach who had lost the team and possibly his mind. Larry Brown was bashing every player that the team wouldn’t let him trade by Christmas time 2010, and was let go or resigned. Silas, who lives nearby on Lake Norman, stepped into a situation that was fixable, and he had success right away. He finished that season 25-29, with the Bobcats missing the playoffs after trading Gerald Wallace at the deadline for cap flexibility and draft picks.
The Bobcats front office lifted the “interim” tag, signing the 68 year old coach for a full season to go with the completion of the 2010-2011 season. Somehow, this didn’t sit well with me. His assistants were his son, Stephen Silas, Ralph Lewis, a former player and long time assistant and Charles Oakley. Oakley is one of Michael Jordan’s friends, and was given the job, seemingly, out of basically that alone, plus the need for some toughness. Well, Oakely found himself in trouble, suing one of the Bobcats’ corporate sponsors and making comments about the team and players in the lockout and wasn’t retained. Rob Werdann who worked with Stephen Silas in Golden State was brought in as “big-man” coach.
The Bobcats further jettisoned veteran talent at the time of the draft, and the team was fully changing from a contender for making the playoffs, to something different completely. What that is, is probably anyone’s guess at this point, including Silas. Therein, to me, lies the problem.
Silas didn’t look lost, he simply looked like he was unable to stem the tide. This season had to be hard on him. It was hard on me and I probably didn’t watch 15 of the games live and I was allowed to change the channel.
I wouldn’t so much blame Paul Silas as call him complicit. You just can’t return him as head coach. I think he’ll be retained as some sort of consultant. He was there during a very difficult time and Coach Silas did a lot to develop young talent. This just didn’t equate to wins and that’s the problem that has him moving on from the head coaching position of your Charlotte Bobcats.
I’m happy it came so quickly after the season ended. I’m also happy that no one is really calling for Stephen Silas to take over. I think he’ll be a head coach one day but that isn’t going to be today and it won’t be with this Charlotte Bobcats team right now. Could you imagine a first time, young head coach taking over for the worst team ever? And that previous coach being your dad? Nope, I don’t see it working out.
I have no idea who the next head coach will be. I am not excited about the likelihood of the guys Ricky B! mentioned in his post at the Observer. Mike D’Antoni has an interesting offensive concept, but very little on the defensive side of the ball going for him, plus he lost the Knicks locker room. I don’t think he has a history of developing young talent and that’s all the Bobcats will have for about 3-5 years. Nate McMillan has never really gotten me excited and I think he’s attached to the Pacific Northwest or something. I don’t get the idea that he’s somehow a great coach. He helped bring the Sonics up then revived the Blazers but he never got them over the hump.
The other names are interesting, however, not calming to me as a fan. Patrick Ewing, assistant with the Orlando Magic and one of the top 5 or so centers of all time would be an interesting choice, but I don’t know if he’s influenced the Magic enough to make me think he’s got what it takes to bring the Bobcats from horrible to serviceable and beyond.
I want that super-assistant, like Thom Thibadeu of the Celtics and then the Bulls or Scott Brooks of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The trouble with that is that I don’t know if that guy exists right now and if that would truly be the best thing for the Bobcats.
Who do you think will be the next Bobcats head coach?