According to a report from ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Charlotte Bobcats have trimmed their coaching search down to three viable candidates. Those finalist are Hall-of-Famer Jerry Sloan, Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, and Lakers assistant Quin Snyder.
The Bobcats had interviewed a reported total of ten candidates before shortening their search.
Snyder was the most recent candidate interviewed and is by far the most shocking name to have made the final cut before a coaching decision is made by owner Michael Jordan.
Prior AP reports have stated that all coaching candidates were interviewed by Bobcats brass; Rod Higgins and Rich Cho. Now, the final three will meet one-on-one with Jordan himself.
Brian Shaw is apparently a top contender for the vacant Orlando Magic coaching position as well. This means that a biding war could unfurl for Shaw’s services if both the Bobcats and Magic determine he is the right guy for the job.
Jerry Sloan is by far the most polished candidate left. Sloan, who is still without that elusive championship has made it clear, according to Broussard’s report, that he would enjoy coaching a young Bobcats squad.
Jordan and Sloan have a history of competition against one another. During his tenure in Utah, Sloan faced Jordan twice as coach of the Jazz in the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals. Michael Jordan and his Bulls would defeat Sloan’s Jazz in both meetings, but the battles between the Bulls and Jazz in the Finals were highly competitive. A competitive quality has to be something Jordan is looking for in his next coach and Sloan definitely possesses it.
One name that didn’t make the cut stands out above the rest. North Carolina native Nate McMillan failed to qualify for an interview with Jordan. No reports have surfaced as to why McMillan isn’t on this list of finalist, but one has to wonder why a coach of McMillan’s stature was not chosen to lead the Bobcats forward.
The Bobcats have yet to give any indication of when they plan to make one of these final three coaches an offer. The NBA draft is fast approaching and a decision most definitely needs to be made well in advance of June 28th.