Larry Brown's resignation as the head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday did not exactly come as a surprise to many. The Bobcats have been one of the most disappointing teams of the 2010-11 season, following up last year's first-ever playoff berth with a 9-19 record to start the season. The team's vaunted defense, which lost Tyson Chandler to trade and Raymond Felton to free agency, has been completely underwhelming, and Brown was reportedly unhappy behind the scenes.
But David Arnott of SB Nation blog Rufus On Fire says that Larry Brown's Bobcats tenure accomplished what it set out to do.
Everything spiraled out of control this season, but we shouldn't be surprised that he was dissatisfied and anxious about the players he was given to work with because this is what Larry Brown does. He spent four seasons with the Indiana Pacers, under five seasons with the Denver Nuggets, and six seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, and those were his long-term gigs. Two and a half seasons is about right.
But it's also worth remembering that what Larry Brown does is turn around struggling franchises quickly, and he did it in Charlotte, taking one of the worst-run teams in the league, turning over the roster, and creating a structure within which the talent could thrive. His signature moves were signing off on the Boris Diaw-Raja Bell trade, and then the Stephen Jackson trade.
The first move was a clear signal that the Cats would be doing business differently. They wouldn't rely on Richardson's brand of dunking and threes, and they wouldn't wait around for Jared Dudley to show what kind of player he could be. The second move showed the Cats were aiming for the playoffs, but more important, pounded home the point that Brown was willing to work with castoffs and turn other teams' garbage into gold.
This season, Brown either had too much garbage to deal with, or the gold had tuned him out. Paul Silas is not a dissimilar coach -- he's tough-nosed and a teacher, first and foremost -- so it will be interesting to see if he can right the ship. If not, expect the trade deadline to mark the beginning of another Bobcats do-over.