The Charlote Bobcats have asked permission to interview Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Nate Tibbetts for their head coach vacancy, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Tibbetts was one of the ten coaches who interviewed for the position last offseason, which was filled by Mike Dunlap.
Like Dunlap before being hired by Charlotte, Tibbetts has never been a head coach at the NBA level. Tibbets has been a coach in the NBA’s D-League for the Tulsa 66ers and the Sioux Falls Skyforce. In addition to the Cavaliers, he’s been an assistant for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
When Tibbetts previously interviewed for the Bobcats, the belief was that he was good at player development. Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving offered high praise to Tibbets after winning the NBA’s Rookie of the Year last season.
Reading in between the lines, it seems the Bobcats might have been intrigued by Tibbetts enough to bring him back in for an interview in the next coaching search. Irving’s priase sounds interesting, but the initial vibe does sound a lot like a Dunlap-esque candidate.
Dunlap was credited with helping Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson’s development, but his in-game coaching and management of veteran players was poor. If Tibbets isn’t any better in that department, perhaps he’d serve better as an assistant coach the Bobcats should consider hiring.