Shaw, Snyder had 2nd interviews with Jordan

Charlotte Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins

said Friday the team is getting closer to make a decision on their

next head coach, but no one has been offered the job.

Higgins said two finalists for the job – Indiana Pacers

assistant coach Brian Shaw and Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach

Quin Snyder – had a second round of interviews this week that

included Bobcats owner Michael Jordan. Higgins confirmed that Hall

of Fame coach Jerry Sloan told the team he was withdrawing from the

running for the job.

”They are impressive candidates,” Higgins said of the two

finalists.

Nonetheless, Higgins would not rule out the possibility of the

team interviewing another candidate in the future.

”Maybe,” Higgins said. ”I want to be as transparent as

possible but at the same time there are certain things we want to

keep private.”

Either way, it appears the Bobcats coaching search will continue

into next week and possibly longer.

After the NBA lottery on May 31, Higgins said he hoped to have a

coach in place ”in a couple of weeks,” but said Friday there is

no timetable.

”It’s going to take a little longer,” Higgins said.

The Bobcats are looking to replace Paul Silas, who was not

granted a contract extension after the team finished 7-59 last

season, the worst winning percentage (.106) in NBA history.

The Bobcats interviewed 10 candidates but trimmed the list to

three this week.

Previously 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.

Higgins said the team is focused on making the right hire.

”We interviewed quite a few people and we’re just making sure

we have the right fit for us,” Higgins said. ”We’re just trying

to go through everyone’s background.”

Sloan was the only finalist who had experience as a head coach.

He coached 22 seasons in all, including 19 with the Utah Jazz. He

twice took the Jazz to the NBA Finals, both times losing to Jordan

and the Chicago Bulls.

Higgins said he wasn’t surprised Sloan pulled out of the running

for the job.

”It’s all part of the process and I’m sure it’s happened

before,” he said.

Snyder has been a head coach in the NBDL and at Missouri, while

Shaw has won five NBA titles – three as a player and two as an

assistant, but has never been a head coach.

The Bobcats wanted to have a coach hired before workouts with

draft prospects, but that didn’t happen. Charlotte began working

out players on Friday. They have the No. 2 and 31 overall picks in

the draft.

Among the players who worked out Friday were Southern

Mississippi’s Maurice Bolden, LSU’s Justin Hamilton, Detroit’s Eli

Holman, Virginia’s Mike Scott, Gonzaga’s Robert Sacre and Belmont

Abbey’s Kyle Phillips.

They plan to host more workouts next week.

The New Orleans Hornets have the first pick in the NBA draft and

are expected to take Kentucky’s Anthon Davis, who is considered by

far the best player in this year’s class. Among the potential

candidates for the No. 2 pick include Kansas’ Thomas Robinson,

Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes

and Florida’s Brandon Beal.