It isn't you, it's me.
Larry Brown is known for his ability to turn teams around. Though criticized for not staying in the same place for long, the well-traveled coach can turn losers into winners.
Before Jason Kidd went to New Jersey, the Nets had only made the playoffs in ten of their 25 seasons in the NBA. They made it in 1982 and 83 under Brown. The same happened with the Clippers when he coached them to their first two trips to the playoffs in 1992 and 93. In his first season in San Antonio, the Spurs were the worst team in the league. He took them to the playoffs the next season in what would become one of the greatest turnarounds in NBA history.
And now, he is moving again in the midst of changing teams due to his inability to shut his mouth. He targeted Stephen Jackson publicly after he was ejected 4 ½ minutes into a loss in Milwaukee. The Boston Celtics held them to 62 points in Charlotte. It has been a messy season with no scoring and no impressive wins.
Michael Jordan was dealing with a coach that was unable to hold a team together and saw a crossroads when they hit 9-19 on the season. Regardless of the situation, the Bobcats are turning into a complete and utter failure. Jackson isn’t the force that he used to be and his scoring is down. Gerald Wallace has already experienced ankle problems this season.
Brown turned them into a playoff team last season and now it looks like they are falling apart just as quickly as he put them together. The loss of Raymond Felton is really leaving a mark in Charlotte. D.J. Augustin did what any smart player that wanted run point should do and declared that he was ready for the position. He isn’t. He hasn’t shown up against the big teams and was even held to 0-8 from the field against Boston.
Meanwhile, Felton is in the middle of some wild times at Madison Square Garden as Spike Lee is getting to see a little more notches in the win column than he’s used to. However, it’s the sheer depth in Charlotte that is so bad.
Tyson Chandler was traded for Eduardo Najera, Matt Carroll and Erick Dampier who was nearing the end of an expensive contract. They saw the opportunity in Damp for trade bait but they ended up just waiving him at the end of the summer.
Instead of doing something smart, they signed Kwame Brown…
Tyrus Thomas shows promise but is only getting 20 minutes a night and averaging just above 10 points a game. He has only started once this season. He’s averaging well over 20 in games where he sees 30 minutes or more. He simply isn’t getting the time he needs to grow. This in turn reflects poorly on Brown as well.
When we look to the bench for any promising young guys, it’s pretty bleak. In the 2010 Draft, Charlotte would have had the 18th pick in the draft. They traded it away to get the 20th pick in the 2008 draft. They drafted Alexis Ajinça who plays in Dallas now. There is nothing on the horizon but an overconfident point guard and a young forward that isn’t getting enough minutes.
By the way here are some players drafted after Ajinça in the 2008 draft:
26. George Hill
34. Mario Chalmers
45. Goran Dragić
It’s simple: it was time for change but coaching shouldn’t be the only shakeup.
General manager and former Bull, Rod Higgins, has not been making the best decisions for this franchise. However, it really comes down to Michael Jordan’s inability to run a team.
He’s been with the franchise since 2006 and was a part of bringing Brown to Charlotte in 2008. Jordan oversees all basketball operations there. It’s his mess.
Paul Silas is coaching and don’t expect much. They do have a chunk of guys entering free agency and they will save a lot of money if Boris Diaw leaves (paying him $9,000 this season. He hasn’t scored 20 points on back-to-back nights all year).
It’s time to rethink the guard position and look to bring in a veteran that knows how to run the court (hint: Mo Williams has an early termination option on his contract that ends at the end of this season).
Same goes for the center position and if you look at most of the contenders this season, they are stacked with at least four players they can move in and out of the four and five positions (just look at the rotations they are able to run in Dallas, LA and Boston). Kwame is not going to cut it and Nazr Mohammed isn’t having a consistent season.
Luckily, they will have the opportunity to free up money in free agency but we have already seen that they have no idea to spend it. They haven’t traded away their first-round pick for this season… yet and we have yet to see what a potential lockout’s affect could be on college players seeking big money (It has been speculated that 2012 is where it’s at).
Yes, it does seem as though it was time for Larry to go and the way things are shaping out, Charlotte will remain bad. Trades are always a possibility but I can’t imagine many teams looking to Charlotte for anything other than a place to dump old talent that they no longer want to pay. They have a chance to start over but knowing how things are run in Charlotte, they wont realize it until it’s too late.