Finally another assistant coming over to help Paul Silas and his coaching staff.  The Bo..."/> Finally another assistant coming over to help Paul Silas and his coaching staff.  The Bo..."/>

Bobcats Hire Assistant Coach Rob Werdann


Finally another assistant coming over to help Paul Silas and his coaching staff.  The Bobcats announced today that they have hired Rob Werdann as an assistant coach.  Werdann is a former NBA player at 6’11” he is certain to focus on the “bigs.”

A bit of history, for those too lazy to google the man’s name:  Werdann is from New York City, playing high level high school ball, he stayed in the city when he was recruited to play at St. John’s University.  He had a college career good enough to get him drafted in the second round of the 1992 NBA Draft by Denver at #46 overall.  He played for three years in the NBA, in Denver and New Jersey but flamed out and ended up playing a bit overseas and in the CBA.  He started out as an assistant coach with the Yakima Sun Kings in the CBA.

He went to the D-League as assistant on the Columbus Riverdragons for 3 years, then he was hired as an advance scout with the New Orleans Hornets where he served for 5 years before being elevated to the coaching staff under Byron Scott after firing old school Hornet Kenny Gattison.  Once Scott was fired after the 2009-2010 campaign, the staff was blown up and the Hornets sort of circling the drain as a franchise, Werdann had no trouble finding a job on Keith Smart’s staff in Golden State at the beginning of last season.  Also an assistant under Smart was Stephen Silas, now an assistant under his father here in Charlotte.  Once Smart was fired, Rob was looking for another job and you have to assume that the relationship with the younger Silas brought him here to Charlotte.

I like the hire a lot.  A guy that’s come up through the ranks, held on to the dream of playing as long as he did, from getting drafted in ’92 and not getting a head coaching gig until 2000, he played those 3 years in the NBA, several years in the CBA in Yakima, Oklahoma City and Harrisburg, and he spent time in Venezuela, the IBL and the USBL.  I love guys like that, that rode the buses, got paid peanuts and busted ass for the game they love.  It’s cool that he worked with the Hornets for years, then got his assistant gig, then found another job right away after that blew up.  I hope he can become a centerpiece on the bench for the Bobcats, working with the bigs for years to come.  I think Bismack Biyombo, Tyrus Thomas and hopefully Kwame Brown can work with him to improve their games and really contribute to the Bobcats.

I don’t think this hire says much about anything other than the need that the Bobcats had, the Silases and Ralph Lewis in particular have had in another body to work with the players.  I very seriously doubt that despite the legal ramifications of Charles Oakley, that this spells the end for him as a Bobcats assistant coach.  I wouldn’t call him Michael Jordan’s personal golden-calf but he’s a little bit on that un-touchable side of things.  He hasn’t been fired, he hasn’t had his role changed.  Beside the fact that he’s suing a corporate partner of the Bobcats, they’re treating his absence and limited activity with the team as what it is, an injury.  He’s a catch-all for the Bobcats, and while he tends to work with the PF, C’s and some of the more interchangeable bigger players, I wouldn’t say that’s his position on the coaching staff exclusively and that the hiring of Rob Werdann would bump him from that position or unofficial title.  Oakley is here to stay and Werdann will act as a fellow assistant, not a guy who is supplanting anyone.

When you look back, Larry Brown had 5 assistants.  When Coach Silas took over, he had Ralph Lewis, Stephen Silas and Charles Oakley.  You look at Dallas, they have 3 plus a strength and conditioning guy who acts as an assistant; Miami has 5 assistants; New York has 4; Atlanta has 4.  I mean he’s just filling a position.

I also think that many folks might read more into it, in these info-starved times of the off-season, the fans might want to look at tid-bits like assistant coaching hires as more than they are.  I think one of the easiest assumptions to make would be that by bringing in a guy who has a connection to Stephen Silas that the Bobcats upper brass might be grooming him and his staff for the future.  While it’d be nice to think of the Bobcats head coaching position as something like a house or prized car that a father might pass on to his son, there are no such assumptions or assurances in the real world of the NBA.  While it is a very insulated and protected small world, the NBA culture is more cutthroat than having a son set up to take over whenever his dear old dad wants to step down.  Paul was given just a year’s extension when the “interim” tag was removed late in the season.  I wouldn’t say unequivocably that he won’t go on beyond this year, but the Bobcats have him on a short leash and as we saw with Werdann’s “bouncing” around, the NBA is a tenuous place to work.

I hope just like everybody for stability within the franchise for years in the future and I have faith that Stephen Silas is a good enough coach that he could take over the team once his dad retires, but I wouldn’t quite put this hire in the connect the dots to a second Silas being Head Coach in Charlotte just yet.

So, welcome to Charlotte Rob Werdann.  We ain’t got that many bigs, but they’re an exciting and lively bunch and at least one of them is pretty smart.  I’ll let you find out which one I mean!