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April 26, 2006

First Tubby, now Gary? Job talk unfounded

Apparently, if you’re a high-profile college basketball coach and your fan base isn’t totally behind you, you’re a candidate to coach the Charlotte Bobcats next season.

Small problem, of course: The job isn’t open, and might not be anytime soon.

First, it was Kentucky’s Tubby Smith, who supposedly was the object of the Bobcats’ desire. That silliness, started by a New York tabloid, was totally wrong. But that didn’t stop all the chatter on Kentucky message boards. Can’t tell you how many e-mails I received asking if it was true that Tubby was in town interviewing. (And most would have helped pack him, from the tone of those e-mails.)

Anyway, Wednesday I received an e-mail from a Maryland fan, looking for confirmation that Gary Williams was in Charlotte interviewing for you-know-what. I mentioned that to a Bobcats official, and the reaction was what I anticipated - a bemused chuckle.

There is a Bobcats connection to Williams. Team president Ed Tapscott once worked as Williams’ assistant at American, and succeeded Williams there as head coach. But I’ve been down this road before with Williams, and I know how disinterested he’d be in coaching in the NBA.

Way back when, Williams took a discreet lunch with Hornets owner George Shinn to talk about being the first coach here. I found out about that lunch, hounded Williams until he called me back (from Ohio State at the time) and he was so uncomfortable that lunch became public, he immediately pulled out of the search.

Years later, when I was researching a story on Tapscott, Williams and I chatted over the phone about the NBA. He made it resoundingly clear that he wasn't interested in coaching highly paid professionals.

So even if Bernie Bickerstaff does leave the bench, I’d be real surprised if Williams is the guy. In fact, I’d be surprised if anyone lacking NBA experience was seriously considered.

Posted by rbonnell on April 26, 2006 at 05:34 PM | Permalink


Let's hope these rumors aren't true. College coaches have a dismal track record in the pros and I have no doubt that Smith and Williams would flounder, too. It's a different - and I would say tougher - environment in the pros.

If Bernie does step down, the Bobcats definitely should go with someone with NBA experience, either as a head coach or a well-respected assistant.

Posted by: Bruce in Gboro | Apr 27, 2006 11:00:31 AM

What about Paul Silas? I know he has had his own problems in the past. But he is a good coach. Plus, he specializes in coaching young guys. Why hasn't his name come up?

Posted by: Kareem Hammond Sr. | Apr 27, 2006 2:59:11 PM

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