CHARLOTTE -- While the Charlotte Bobcats have yet to formally announce it, several reports indicate the team has hired St. John's University assistant Mike Dunlap as its head basketball coach.
Dunlap is not a household name compared to other candidates the team was considering in Jerry Sloan, Brian Shaw and Patrick Ewing; and initial reaction on the web was harsh.
"A lot of people are probably upset just because nobody's ever heard of this guy," said Ben Swanson, who runs the blog rufusonfire.com. "And when your name's being floated out there above Jerry Sloan, a hall of famer, and Brian Shaw, who was an assistant under hall of fame coach Phil Jackson. So they are probably just like 'This is the best they could do?'"
Spencer Percy, who writes for the blog queencityhoops.com, said "the only reason people reacted the way they did was because nobody knew who he was."
Dunlap spent the last year serving as interim head coach at St. John's while Steve Lavin was battling prostate cancer. But he does have head coaching experience, guiding Division II Metropolitan State to two NCAA championships.
Before then, he spent most of his time as an assistant at Arizona, Oregon and the NBA's Denver Nuggets under North Carolina alum George Karl.
"Karl just has great things to say about him," said Swanson. "Nothing but positive about his knowledge of the game, how much he knows about it. He says he elevates every player on the team."
"George Karl basically called him one of the most impressive coaches he's ever been around, if not the most impressive," said Percy.
While the Bobcats have yet to explain why they chose Dunlap, the move comes at a critical time as the NBA Draft is next Thursday with Charlotte holding the No. 2 overall selection.