Charlotte Debacle: Michael Jordan, Bob Johnson & Sam Vincent to Blame For Bobcats’ Problems
Add Sam Vincent to the list of NBA sideline bosses looking for work. Today, the Charlotte Bobcats relieved Vincent of his duties as head coach after one season behind the bench. The reasons were obvious:
- The Bobcats, despite having more young talent than Lou Pearlman in the mid-nineties, finished a disappointing 32-50, well back of a playoff spot in the lowly Eastern Conference.
- For stretches of the season, Charlotte’s stars looked lethargic, interested only in cashing their sizable paycheques and enjoying the benefits of guaranteed money.
- Vincent came under fire from front office for a December decision not to fly the team to Milwaukee due to poor weather. The team had trouble making alternate travelling plans and nearly missed a game the next day against the Bucks, which would’ve drawn a seven-figure fine.
- Charlotte hasn’t exactly embraced the NBA’s return. Attendance is lagging and the Bobcats are an afterthought in a basketball mad state. Changing coaches keeps the team somewhat relevant.
There were signs Vincent was on the chopping block:
- Let’s start with MJ attending practices and film sessions. Talk about undermining your coach. Vincent didn’t stand a chance with the game’s greatest player lurking in the shadows.
- Late in the year, Jordan and former BET King Bob Johnson refused to publicly endorse Vincent. Instead, they talked about end-of-season evaluations, which is code for we plan to fire his ass.
- Larry Brown recently left his front office post with the 76ers. Whenever Brown changes employers, it usually means he’s eyeing a job that will suddenly become available … like in Charlotte.
There were reasons for pink-slipping Vincent. And there were signs this move was coming. Was it fair? Should His Airness and 106 & Park Johnson share the blame?
Jordan’s front office struggles continue in Charlotte. He overpaid Matt Carroll, gave up two expiring contracts for Nazr Mohammed, and, worst of all, handpicked Vincent as coach.
Johnson killed the Bobcats’ buzz with his thriftiness. After George Shinn, Charlotte needed an owner who wasn’t afraid to open his wallet. What they got was a scared money version of George Kaztanza.
So Jordan and Johnson escaped by scapegoating Vincent. Next time shifting the blame won’t be so easy.
Who you blame in Charlotte: Jordan, Johnson, or Vincent? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts. Come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA stuff.