NBA analyst: Bobcats should pick coach that fits players’ strengths

rbonnell@charlotteobserver.comMay 7, 2013 

Hubie Brown’s advice to the Charlotte Bobcats: Take a thorough look at what your best players do best, then match a new coach to that description.

Brown is a former NBA coach who is now a game analyst for ESPN/ABC. During a media conference call Tuesday he was asked several questions about how the half-dozen NBA teams hiring a new coach should proceed.

“Too many times a coach’s style doesn’t match the players already under contract, particularly the top three players,’’ Brown said. “The style of play is critical in relation to the players on the roster. If it doesn’t match, you’re just wasting time.

“Management has got to look at (each candidate’s coaching style) and ask, ‘Does the glove fit?’ ”

The Bobcats are about to hire a coach for the fifth time since 2007. They fired Mike Dunlap in April after a single 21-61 season.

Six Charlotte candidates have become public so far. At least three of those – Nate Tibbetts (a Cleveland assistant) and Alvin Gentry and Elston Turner (both previously with Phoenix) – are expected to interview this week.

Brown was asked if there’s much difference between hiring someone with previous NBA head coaching experience, versus hiring an assistant. Brown said there’s a misconception about assistants that they’re all the same in experience.

“When Chicago hired Tom Thibodeau it was an incredible bonus,’’ Brown said. “He’d been a major factor, running defenses and video (for various coaches) – 20 years of major responsibility. So when he got the opportunity he was totally ready to be the head man.

“The backgrounds of various assistants are totally different.’’

Brown said part of the challenge for the next Bobcats coach is making this team entertaining while it’s learning how to win.

“The style of play has to entice people to watch it. That people enjoy watching while you’re still working with a young team (buys the time) to improve week-to-week. A coach has to sell that whether he’s an assistant or has been a head coach.’’

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