Former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan is coming to Charlotte for an interview for the head coaching job for the Charlotte Bobcats. His resume speaks for itself. Sloan coached many great Jazz teams in the past. He used the pick-and-roll to perfection. You can argue that having the likes of Hall of Famers like John Stockton and Karl Malone made coaching quite easy for Sloan. In my opinion, I do think that Jerry Sloan would be one of the top candidates as the head coach of the Bobcats. Let’s look at the list of potential candidates and what they have to offer. His coaching style may not look exciting, but it will result in a lot of wins. Sloan reminds me of the Spurs’ coach, Greg Popovich. Both coaches do things the right way. They aren’t flashy. It’s all about winning games. Sloan’s hiring could change the morale and dynamic within the Bobcats’ organization.
Nate McMillan went to North Carolina State University during the 80’s. McMillan has proven to be a solid coach in the past. He did a great job with the Portland Trail Blazers. In the midst of losing Brandon Roy and Greg Oden, Portland managed to be competitive. Savvy trades along with a blue collar work ethic elevated Portland’s presence in the NBA. Credit should go to McMillan for this. He has a knack for bringing out the best in his players. McMillan’s ties to the state of North Carolina would be a smart choice because he is native North Carolinian. His birthplace is Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition, Nate is only 47 years old. He McMillan coming back to North Carolina to save the Bobcats has a nice ring to it. He would bring more N.C. State fans to Bobcats’ games, truly making Charlotte an ACC mecca.
Mike D’Antoni is one of my favorite coaches. I really like his up-tempo style of player. D’Antoni’s offense requires players who are agile, versatile, and intelligent. When Amare Stoudemire was out during the 2005 season, Boris Diaw manned the center position in Phoenix under D’Antoni. D’Antoni was a few games short of playing for an NBA championship. The Phoenix Suns had 62 wins and 20 losses during the regular season in 2005. D’Antoni won over 60 games with a small lineup that consisted of Steve Nash, Joe Johnson, Quentin Richardson, Shawn Marion, and Boris Diaw. Charlotte resembles this Phoenix team based on the fact that the team is small, with the exception of Byron Mullens and DeSagana Diop. A smart lottery draft pick, in addition to a couple of veterans and D’Antoni’s coaching sounds like a winning recipe to me. Check out my other column on Roberto Gato titled, “Mike D’Antoni, Michael Jordan, Jeremy Lin, and Harrison Barnes….A PERFECT MATCH!” I breakdown why D’Antoni would be a smart choice on MJ’s behalf. D’Antoni averaged 50.6 wins in Phoenix. D’Antoni’s records while coaching the Phoenix Suns go as follows:
2004 – 21 wins, 40 losses
2005 – 62 wins, 20 losses
2006 – 54 wins, 28 losses
2007 – 61 wins, 21 losses
2008 – 55 wins, 27 losses.
Stan Van Gundy represents another possibility for the Bobcats. Stan Van Gundy has had a nice run with the Orlando Magic. He led the Magic to the NBA Finals loss against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010. In that season as well as the previous one, the Orlando Magic had 59 wins and 23 losses. I am not a fan of his offense because he runs half-court sets. This is my opinion, however because I prefer up-tempo basketball. Van Gundy’s style of play requires dominant low post players. If the Bobcats select Stan Van Gundy, then they need to invest in players who fit his system. Van Gundy could and would be a smart and safe choice as head coach for the Bobcats.
Several factors that will impact the hiring of the next Charlotte Bobcats’ head coach are coaching style, age of the coaching candidate, prior coaching accolades and accomplishments, level of respect from NBA players, and the level of commitment to the Bobcats’ organization.