Some of you have emailed or tweeted me saying Jerry Sloans age causes you misgivings about whether hed be right to coach the Charlotte Bobcats.
The man is 70. I dont think thats reason to dismiss him as an option.
Sloan is scheduled to meet with Bobcats management today to discuss the job. Hes a Hall of Fame coach who guided the Utah Jazz to two NBA Finals and got the Jazz to the playoffs 18 times. Hes well-known for his teaching skills, particularly in developing big men (for instance, Mark Eaton and Felton Spencer), who werent exactly cant-misses before playing for Sloan.
My intent here is not to advocate Sloans candidacy. I dont know whether hes the best option. But if he proves to be qualified in every other regard, I wouldnt let his birth certificate dissuade me from hiring him.
The counter-argument I hear is the Bobcats should hire a young assistant who can grow into the job, kind of the way a former defensive coordinator, John Fox, gave the Carolina Panthers a long run with numerous playoff appearances. In a perfect world, yes, but is it realistic to assume longevity in making this hire?
The Bobcats have had four coaches in their eight-season history. Bernie Bickerstaff lasted three seasons, Sam Vincent one, Larry Brown 2 ½ and Paul Silas 1 ½.
Past performance might not guarantee future results, but thats a good indication the next coach probably wont be in the job in five years. So if I knew Sloan was committed to at least three seasons, Id probably conclude hed leave the Bobcats far better than he found them.
Im also intrigued by Sloans interest in a rebuilding job others might shun. Sloan wouldnt be naïve about the challenges or intimidated by them. Experience and security are attractive traits when youre trying to climb out of a hole as deep as the one the Bobcats are in.