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Charlotte Bobcats Fire Coach Mike Dunlap

Mike Dunlap fired by Bobcats

The Charlotte Bobcats fired coach Mike Dunlap Tuesday, less than one year after he was hired.

Dunlap is the fifth head coach since the Bobcats were established as an expansion team in 2004. The 55-year-old was previously an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets, coming to the team after serving as an assistant coach at St. John’s for two seasons. Dunlap’s predecessor, Paul Silas, led the team in the 2011-12 season, when the Bobcats set a record for the worst season in NBA history, finishing at 7-59.

The Bobcats finished with a 21-61 record for the 2012-13 season, the second-worst in the NBA. The Orlando Magic had the worst record in the league with a 20-62 finish.

The Bobcats came into the draft with the best odds of winning the lottery, but did not get the first overall pick. With the second pick, the team chose Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, an NCAA champion and Rookie of the Month in November 2012. Kidd-Gilchrist started in 77 of 78 games, playing 26 minutes and scoring 9 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. However, the 19-year-old — who is currently the youngest player in the NBA — couldn’t help the Bobcats claw their way up through the ranks.

The decision to get rid of Dunlap came after a review by Bobcats GM Rich Cho and president Rod Higgins, both of whom joined the team in 2011.

“As an organization, it was decided that we needed to make a change with the head coach position,” Higgins said. “We want to thank Mike for his contribution and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Dunlap isn’t the only coach to get the ax recently. The Cleveland Cavaliers fired Byron Scott after the team finished their season with the third-worst record in the league (24-58) and the Detroit Pistons gave Lawrence Frank the pink slip after ending their season 29-53. 76ers head coach Doug Collins stepped down after three seasons in Philadelphia.

The search for Dunlap’s successor will begin immediately.

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