The Charlotte Bobcats are inching closer to naming a new head coach after trimming their coaching search three — Jerry Sloan, Brian Shaw and Quin Snyder, said a person familiar with the situation.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team has not made its list of candidates public.
Bobcats owner Michael Jordan will meet with Shaw, an assistant with the Indiana Pacers, and Snyder, an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers, at some point this week. Sloan has already met with Jordan.
The previous candidates, other than Sloan, had interviewed with president of basketball operations Rod Higgins and general manager Rich Cho.
Eliminated from consideration were Orlando assistant coach Patrick Ewing, Charlotte assistant Stephen Silas, ex-Portland coach Nate McMillan, Golden State assistant Michael Malone, Cleveland assistant Nate Tibbetts, Memphis assistant Dave Joerger and St. John’s University assistant Mike Dunlap.
The Bobcats considered interviewing Oklahoma City assistant coach Maurice Cheeks but decided to move on with the search after the Thunder reached the NBA Finals because they’re eager to have a coach in place soon.
ESPN first reported Charlotte had trimmed its original list of candidates from 10 to three.
Whoever takes over the Bobcats will have an enormous task ahead of them in terms or rebuilding the franchise.
Charlotte finished with the worst winning percentage (.106) in league history at 7-59 under coach Paul Silas, whose contract was not renewed after the season.
The Bobcats are a young team and, to make matters worse, they didn’t get the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft in the NBA lottery. That means they won’t have Kentucky forward Anthony Davis to build around.
That apparently hasn’t scared off Sloan, a Hall of Fame coach.
Sloan, 70, compiled a 1,221-803 record during his 22 seasons coaching in the NBA, 19 of which came with the Utah Jazz. He twice helped the Jazz reach the NBA Finals, both times losing to Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.
Sloan has been out of coaching for under 2 years after resigning from the Jazz.
Shaw is a highly regarded assistant who knows a thing or two about what it takes to win. He’s won five NBA titles — three as a player and two as an assistant coach. He was once viewed as the heir apparent to take over for Phil Jackson with the Lakers. But when Shaw was passed over for the job he moved on to join the Pacers, who turned out to be one of the surprise teams in the league this season.
Shaw is also viewed as a top candidate for the Orlando Magic’s vacant head coaching position.
Snyder is perhaps the most surprising of the three finalists.
Prior to joining the Lakers, Snyder was in charge of player development for the Philadelphia 76ers.
He also coached the NBDL’s Austin Toros for three seasons and was head coach Missouri from 1999-2006. He began his career as an assistant coach at Duke, his alma mater, under Mike Krzyzewski in 1993. He also worked as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers for one season under former Bobcats coach Larry Brown.