Larry Brown Steps Down as Charlotte Bobcats Coach Following 9-19 NBA Star

Larry Brown resigned as coach of the Charlotte Bobcats amid a losing season and Paul Silas was made interim coach.

Brown, 70, met with team owner Michael Jordan yesterday, and they agreed a change was needed, Jordan said in a news release. Brown, whose 1,098 regular-season wins are sixth most in National Basketball Association history, led the team to a 9-19 record this season, 11 games behind the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division.

“I want to thank Larry for everything he has done for our team,” Jordan said in a letter to fans on the NBA’s website. “He has played a key role in this organization’s development, including coaching us to our first playoff appearance last season.”

Brown was selected as the third coach in Bobcats history in April 2008 and had an 88-104 record in 2½ seasons. The Bobcats lost 99-81 to the Oklahoma City Thunder two days ago in Brown’s last game with the team.

“The team has clearly not lived up to either of our expectations and we both agreed that a change was necessary,” Jordan said.

Second Time Around

Silas, 67, has a 355-400 record in 10 years as an NBA head coach for the Charlotte Hornets, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002 and the Bobcats entered the league in 2004.

In his four full years with the Hornets in 1999-2003, including three in Charlotte, Silas took the team to the playoffs each season.

Brown, who played basketball at the University of North Carolina and won a gold medal with the U.S. team at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, began his coaching career at Davidson College in 1972. In 1988, he led the University of Kansas to the National Collegiate Athletic Association title, and was chosen Naismith College Coach of the Year.

In the NBA, Brown has led eight different teams to the playoffs, including the Bobcats last season. In 2001, Brown was named NBA Coach of the Year after guiding the Philadelphia 76ers to the finals, and three years later led the Detroit Pistons to the NBA title. That championship, the first professional title of his coaching career, made Brown the first coach to win both an NBA and an NCAA title.

Brown, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, joined the Bobcats two years after being fired as coach of the New York Knicks in 2006, when he was replaced by Isiah Thomas.

Jordan, 47, won six NBA titles as a player with the Chicago Bulls and became majority owner of the Bobcats in March, four years after buying a minority stake. He is the first former NBA player to become majority owner of a franchise.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York enovywilliam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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