Featured Gallery, Latest News, NBA / Dec 22, 2010 / 5:30 pm

Michael Jordan’s best (and worst) choices to replace Larry Brown

In his first nine months as majority owner of an NBA franchise, Michael Jordan has been through a few years’ worth of experiences:

He watched his Charlotte Bobcats make their first-ever playoff appearance, then watched them suffer their first-ever postseason series sweep. In free agency he re-signed a promising future building block (Tyrus Thomas), then let a potential All-Star point guard walk (Ray Felton). Now he has helped facilitate the departure of his team’s head coach, Larry Brown, meaning Jordan’s next big task will be hiring a replacement.

It has been reported that all of Brown’s assistants have been let go, so this won’t be a case of promoting an interim. Jordan needs to pick The Guy, and he has to do it soon while working over the Christmas holiday, because the Bobcats’ next game coming up is on Monday. Here are some likely (and unlikely) choices Jordan might consider:

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Scottie Pippen — Whose basketball knowledge would Mike trust more than Scottie’s? The man who helped Jordan win six rings as a player wants to be a coach, and though inexperienced, Pippen would gain instant respect from Charlotte’s players with his Hall of Fame resume.

Paul Silas — His name is being mentioned as a top candidate. Noted NBA tough guy of the 1960s and ’70s has a .470 winning percentage as a head coach, having last coach LeBron and the Cavaliers in ’04-05.

Roy Williams — This could be the home-run pick, but it wouldn’t happen until next season. So Jordan could bring in a temp, then throw the (gold-plated) kitchen sink at Roy next summer. Basketball fans in Charlotte care infinitely more about the Tar Heels than the Bobcats, and would be all about Roy coaching their pro team … or they’d hate him for ditching UNC when the program is supposed to be back on the rise, then hate Jordan for pilfering UNC’s coach. So maybe this wouldn’t be a good idea.

Don Nelson — He is the NBA’s all-time leader in coaching victories and has five championship rings to his name. The Bobcats currently rank 29th in the League in scoring offense, Nellie’s specialty.

Patrick Ewing — Though MJ and Ewing were fierce rivals back in the day, they always had a high respect for each other. Ewing has paid his dues as an assistant coach with Orlando, and some believe he’s ready for a crack at a head coaching gig.

Mark Jackson — One of the hottest names on the coaching market not too long ago, Jackson surprisingly wasn’t hired by any team last summer. His lack of experience coaching at any level is the obvious red flag, but he is a respected basketball mind, and another former player who would have the respect of the current players.

Mike Brown — There is a guy sitting out there without an NBA job who led his team to 60-win seasons each of the last two years, along with deep playoff runs and one NBA Finals appearance.

Mike Woodson — And there’s another guy looking for work just led his last team to three straight playoff appearances and oversaw the development of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford into All-Star level players.

Leroy Smith — If he could motivize Michael Jordan into becoming the greatest player of all-time, surely he can get Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson to a conference semifinal, right?

Mike Fratello — Jordan knows his work from the ’80s and ’90s, current players know him from TV, and surely the telestrator will translate to the clipboard.

Byron Scott — You don’t think Scott could be convinced to walk away from the Cavs right now? Here’s the scenario: Bring in Scott, who was Chris Paul’s first and favorite NBA coach, then pull whatever string you have to pull to get CP3 to come back home to N.C. to save the franchise.

Michael Jordan — You think he wouldn’t?

Who do you think will be Charlotte’s next head coach?

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  • Stunnaboy2K11

    MJ has to coach this team, it would INSTANTLY fill seats. Come on man make it happen!

    On a more serious note, can someone PLEASE hire Mark Jackson? I’m pretty sure dude would make an amazing coach.

  • http://dimemag.com Tommy McAlister

    I think Chris Webber would be a pretty good coach.

  • Krayzie

    Mark Jackson is a complete idiot and worse announcer on tv. The website http://www.thephatphree.com once called him “The dumbest man on television” and subsequently created the Mark Jackson drinking game. They had it right on!

  • Rizwan

    Motivize? You mean motivate.

    I think some of the assistants you see named for every vacancy seems likely. Maybe Dwayne Casey, Lawrence Frank, etc..

    Out of this list? I like Scottie..for this team, his lack of coaching experience could be good as a motivating new voice considering they just had one of the most demanding coaches in the league.

  • Young Gunner

    Don Nelson’s specialty is coaching offense. His other specialty: not coaching defence. I dont trust Scottie as a coach Just doesnt feel right. For a second, I was wondering who Leroy Smith was lol

  • Wonil

    i guess that’s why he’s 3rd in all time assists in the NBA

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    Breaking News: Paul Silas Named Interim Head Coach of Bobcats

    @ Rizwan

    If you remember the Leroy Smith ads, it’s motivize.

  • Stunnaboy2K11

    Meh, thought he’d play it more risky than Paul Silas. Pretty ho hum safe pick.

  • Stunnaboy2K11



    I know most of ya’ll wouldn’t get the Leroy Smith joke

  • Rizwan

    My bad!

  • Edan Aharony

    It’s been long coming Brown is a coach that gets frustrated if he doesn’t get maximum effort from his players and in Charlot he didn’t just the reality of dealing with pro’s that make more money than the coach. Edan Aharony

  • hakasan

    horrible choice… woodson would have been much better for this team… see his history working the 2nc coming of the jail blazers in the atlanta hawkers… if he could turn that team around, he could turn around sjax and crash

  • http://bouncemag.com LowerEastScribe

    I’m going with Leroy.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    @Tommy, No chris Webber would not make a good coach. While he was a good player he lacks knowledge of the game. He got by as a talented player in the NBA, dude never worked to perfect anything in his game. About the only thing he added in the NBA was a better jumper. His post up game actually got weaker in the NBA.