Monday, April 30, 2012

Good man, bad outcome: Paul Silas and the Bobcats

You'd think it would be an easy decision, right? The guy coaches the worst NBA team in history, he's got to go, right?

Right... sort of. Paul Silas indeed won't return to the Charlotte Bobcats next season -- the Bobcats just finished signing their names to a 7-59 overall mark, with a winning percentage of .106 that ranks as the worst in NBA history.

And yet... this wasn't all Silas's fault. In fact, you could argue that most of it wasn't his fault. Silas got to take many of the lumps as the Bobcats tore down the Bobcats' playoff roster of 2010 piece by piece. Stephen Jackson, Gerald Wallace, Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler? Gone, gone, gone and gone.

Silas, 68, ended up this season with a team that was supposed to have an 18-20 point scorer in Corey Maggette who ended up missing half the season with injury and an otherwise young team that was hopelessly outmanned (especially inside) during most games. If Red Auerbach or Phil Jackson, they would still have lost and lost and lost. Not quite as much -- but they still would have been well out of the playoffs.

Of course, the team's youth and injuries don't mean that Silas has an excuse for everything (nor would he want to make one). Bottom line: he couldn't stop the slide. The Bobcats lost their final 23 games -- that's absolutely stunning. Silas at one point put his hands on Tyrus Thomas in a locker-room altercation -- that absolutely shouldn't happen.

Silas is a great guy and an honest guy, and he deserved better. His players all liked him and I think they respected him. But that 7-59 belongs to him, too, and so I can understand why Michael Jordan did this (and I now doubt Jordan will hire Silas's son Stephen for the job, although Stephen is going to get an interview and deserves one).

I'm conflicted about the whole thing, really. Silas with a better roster can do so much better -- remember, he had some success with the Charlotte Hornets as head coach long ago. I'm glad he will end up doing something for the Bobcats in an as-yet-undetermined role.

But Jordan also isn't going to fire himself, and so Silas was the obvious choice to go (he didn't actually get "fired," his contract simply ran out and won't be renewed).

Silas is a good man. This is a bad outcome. And until the Bobcats dramatically improve the roster, it won't matter who comes next.


Anonymous said...

Sure, it definitely wasn't ALL his fault. I do think that a number of different coaches could've achieved a better result with the players on the team, however. Silas is a good man, but if I were him, I'd be glad to be out. The nightmare would finally be over.

Anonymous said...

While it certainly makes sense to move on to another coach, I find it hypocritical and reprehensible for Rod Higgins, who forced his zero-talent son on Silas, to say the record is the reason for the change. God Himself couldn't win with a roster that included Demario Moon and Cory Higgins on it.

Anonymous said...

Fire Rod Higgins and CUT his useless son from the team.

Fire Stephen Silas, don't waste time on interview.

Nepotism KILLS a business.

TC said...

Too bad you couldn`t rename the TWC Arena The Charlotte Coliseum.....

Anonymous said...

As a former head coach to replace Paul Silas, I believe the Bobcats should take a serious look at Mike D'Antoni who has coached at both Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks. I feel that Mr. D'Antoni has proven that he can coach winning teams.

Anonymous said...

I really hate Silas had to go out like this. Even if as an interim, he deserved to at least keep some dignity on his way out the door. This franchise did NOTHING to better the team this year, and simply had one of the worst rosters probably in NBA history. Safe to say 75% of this team will be out of the league in 5 years. Higgins is the biggest target, playing his useless son on this team. When he says "the record speaks for itself", HELL NO your sorry son, Steph Silas and half of this team should not be back next season, no matter the cost. If Diop, Thomas, Najera or any of these bums are still in a Stankcat uniform next season, then Higgins should be outright fired.

Anonymous said...

Worst franchise in professional sports. Fire Jordan if possible.