Feb 29, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan looks back during the third quarter of the game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets defeated the Trail Blazers 104-95. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Bobcats Weekly Recap: The Coaching Search Is Heating Up

The Charlotte Bobcats coaching search is taking shape. This past week, several candidates were revealed and Bobcats fans began getting a grasp of who they want to become the sixth coach in franchise history.

77% of Roberto Gato readers felt the rumor that the Bobcats are making a run at Phil Jackson to join the Bobcats front office was the biggest news of last week. A report from CBS Sports this week poured some cold water on it, as Phil Jackson is not initially interested by the Bobcats situation.

We took a look at the candidates who were interviewed for last offseason’s coaching search. Of those coaches, 34% of our readers said former Orlando Magic assistant Patrick Ewing should be re-considered for this year’s coaching vacancy.

Tuesday we found out that the Bobcats are interested in Cleveland Cavaliers assistant Nate Tibbetts. The Bobcats have requested and received permission to interview him. Tibbetts has a positive reputation in the league for being good at player development. Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving attributed much of his success in his rookie season to Tibbetts.

However, 90% of our readers said they wouldn’t be interested in him as a candidate, because of his lack of experience or that they didn’t know enough about him.

The same day, Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson emerged as a candidate. Sampson is one of the hotter commodities in the head coaching market, and seems to be in line to get his first shot somewhere next season. 40% of our readers approved of Sampson as a candidate, but 32% were indifferent to him.

Wednesday, former Phoenix Suns assistant Elston Turner joined the coaching carousel. Turner is best known for being a long-time defensive assistant in the league and has interviewed for many head coaching jobs. However, he’s still searching for his first one. Turner didn’t receive much of an endorsement from our readers, as only 7% of you believe he is a good candidate for the Bobcats.

We also found out that the Bobcats will be interviewing Los Angeles Lakers assistant Steve Clifford.

Rumors circulated that Nate McMillan could also be throwing his hat into the Bobcats coaching search. The Raleigh native interviewed for the Detroit Pistons opening this week and is appealing as a defensive teacher and his previous record of improving teams in the long run. 81% of you believed McMillan would be your first choice to coach the team.

Coaching news dominated headlines once again at Roberto Gato, but we did see that Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finished 8th in Rookie of the Year voting. Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 9.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and shot 45.8% from the field in his rookie season. Despite not finishing in the Top-5, 72% of our readers said they did not regret the Bobcats taking Kidd-Gilchrist second overall in last year’s draft.

To close the week, we wanted to get a grasp for who readers currently want as the Bobcats head coach. McMillan’s popularity carried over, as 46% of you believe he should be the coach of the team. Alvin Gentry received 17% of the vote and Utah Jazz assistant Jeff Hornacek got 10%. 8% of readers chose to take the field, which last offseason might have included Mike Dunlap.

With interviews starting next week, the Bobcats coaching search should continue to get interesting. There’s no word on who the front office feels is an early favorite, so there promises to be just as much mystique as there was last summer.

As a reminder, Gentry, Tibbetts, Sampson, Turner, Hornacek and Clifford are the only head coaches who’ve been confirmed to be interviewing with the Bobcats for the job. Other names might have been confirmed, but not leaked in reports yet.

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