Charlotte, N.C. — After a miserable start to the season in which he took shots at his players and himself, Larry Brown is out as coach of the Charlotte Bobcats in another messy exit in his well-traveled career.
The team announced later Wednesday that former Charlotte Hornets coach Paul Silas will take over on an interim basis.
Owner Michael Jordan announced Brown’s departure in a news release a day after the Bobcats were outscored, 31-12, in the fourth quarter in their fourth straight loss.
The 70-year-old Brown, who coached at Kansas University from the 1983-84 season through the national-title 1987-1988 season, had been upset with the makeup and effort of his Bobcats team for weeks. Charlotte (9-19) had lost three games by 31 or more points in 10 days before Tuesday’s fourth-quarter meltdown against Oklahoma City.
“I met with coach Brown two weeks ago about the team’s performance and what we could do to improve it,” Jordan said. “We met again this morning after practice. The team has clearly not lived up to either of our expectations, and we both agreed that a change was necessary.”
Brown, whose contract runs through the end of the 2011-12 season, didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. But his agent, Joe Glass, said Brown will be back on the bench soon.
“Larry is going to coach again,” Glass said.
Glass declined to discuss details of any buyout or if Brown will be paid through the end of his original four-year contract.
Brown leaves with an 88-108 mark with the Bobcats. His 1,327 victories in the ABA and NBA are nine shy of supplanting Don Nelson for the most all-time.
“This was a difficult decision for both of us, but one that needed to be made,” Jordan said. “I want to thank Larry for everything he has done for our team. He has played a key role in this organization’s development, including coaching us to our first-ever playoff appearance last season.”